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Field Guide to Jordan
 

Wadi al Siyyagh:

 

It is the valley going west from the center of Petra, and is the passage for rain water coming from Wadi Musa through Wadi al Muthlim to the center of Petra then all the way to Wado Araba. The spring of Wadi al Siyyagh is ten minutes walk from the museum, fresh water collected from rain water starts to give you a different feeling of the desert, fills the valley with trees and birds, the walk down this valley is cool and refreshing even in the hot summer, in the winter it is not recommended to try this hike, floods might fill it any time...

The water of Wadi al Siyyagh is used now for irrigation. Bedouins have planted olive trees, granadine, peaches, grapes, figs, lemon and more to be tasted on your way down... Bedouins used to depend on this water for drinking when they used to inhabit Petra, and they say it was bigger in quantity.

You will see the quarries where Nabataeans used to get stones for their buildings, the surfaces are left in a wondeful shape and texture, some have decorative carvings, other have Nabataean inscriptions. Deeper into the valley where the carved faces start to face west, and where the quarries have the shapes of huge negative vases, there is a track that takes you to the right all around the mountain west, then north, then up to the Monastery (The Deir). This track is so nice, to enjoy it most, and to guarantee you will face no problems, please use a local guide... In the beggining of the track you can see a sculpture of the goddess ATARA'TA, the goddess of fertility, facing west, small in contrast with the huge quarries, with beautiful squared eyes, a nose, and a stripe on the forhead representing a wreath, beneath it is a Nabataean inscription mentioning her name (the sculpture looks like the goddess carved in Siq).

If you decide to continue with the valley down and not take the route to the Monastery, you will get to a small pool, after which you need ropes to descend, one ring was placed there with an 8 mm. role plug by some rock climbers, now this ring is removed! The way down takes you to Wadi Araba, and staying at the pool (locals call it the Lisama) to relax and have lunch, will get you ready for the way back...

 
entrance to the wadi
quarry
Atara'ta
Al Lisama
 
quarry quarry on the way down on the way down
on the way down on the way down on the way down entrance
 
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