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Chris Bonner and his wife Marelle live on a farm in the beautiful Scenic Rim of South East Queensland where Chris uses his camera to showcase the scenery and wildlife of the area. Besides wider Australian travels, he has also produced a portfolio of pictures from across the world including  the wildlife of Africa to e magic of the Amazon to the history and beauty of Europe.  While Chris' primary motivation is to share his experiences, photos are available for sale in digital or print format. 

All profits from photo sales go to a Cambodian charity www.newhopecambodia.com. Non-profit organisations may apply to receive free photos for Promotion or Fundraising.

Our next port is Aqaba, Jordan where we head through rugged desert country...

...and come across occasional Bedouin camps. 'Bedouin' refers to a nomadic desert way of life rather than an Ethnic entity. Mostly Bedouins however now live in settlements where governments have supplied permanent access to water and built schools confining many 'Bedouins' to become very annoying souvenir sellers.

Our destination is Petra, the ancient Nabatean capital: serious bucket list stuff. To get to Petra, we first hike through a narrow canyon...

...until we came across the "Treasury;" a tomb carved into the rock face.

...and further on encounter extraordinary structures; tombs, dwellings, religious reliefs...

...a donkey enjoying some shade...

...and a few like-minded tourists.

Then there's an amphitheatre, sculptured into the sandstone over 2000 years ago...

...before coming to the ancient colonnade lined with ruins of Nabatean public buildings.

Petra was the capital for the nomadic Nabatean kingdom which emerged between the third and first century BC. They eventually struck it rich thanks to occupying a strategic area, that while scant in resources, provided rich pickings thanks to controlling the region's caravan trade until the Romans got their way with them at around 100 AD.

An earthquake lead to Petra's abandonment in 747 AD and other than Bedouin tribes who wisely kept it secret due to the goodies they found in the tombs, it remained in oblivion until discovered in 1812. Thence tourists came while the Bedouins remained to sell souvenirs and supply horses and donkeys to enable those tourists who couldn't manage the 12 Kim of hiking to enjoy the sites of Petra, and the smells of fresh horse and donkey poo that perfuse the narrow canyon.

Then the trip back to our ship as the light fades over the desert landscape.

After a big day exploring Jordan and Petra we docked at Safaga, Egypt on the other side of the Red Sea for a long desert drive to Luxor .....

.... to see the massive 1400 BC Karnak Temple, considered the greatest place of worship in human history,  before crossing the Nile to the Valley of the Kings...

..... to explore more dead stuff in the form of ancient tombs including that of Tutankhamun who was laid to rest in 1352 BC at the young age of 18, with treasures necessary for his afterlife. Tut's tomb was not discovered until 1922 so as opposed to his neighbouring Kings, him and his stuff exclusively remained unplundered. However, what's left of him is no longer particularly photogenic and frankly he should be left in peace.

These guys; Ra messes 6 on the left who seemingly nicked and did a reno on the tomb of number 5 after dethroning him, and Merenpath on the right, were laid to rest in a sarcophagus which went into larger coffins before being sealed in huge marble boxes.

The colourful reliefs lining the tombs are unnickable and remain to impress.

The tomb of Ramesses Ill with examples of reliefs covering the walls. Especially relevant to my farm is the image of the Dung or scarab-beetle which the Egyptians associated with Re, their supreme being and sun god. Detailing what was behind this is fuel for a thesis but it suffices to suggest the scarab-beetle pushing his ball of dung represented the sun rolling across the sky each day transforming bodies and souls. Now I will have even more respect for my introduced Dung Beetles.

Lesser mortals have simpler tombs that were never┬Čthe-less ratted. Alexandra the Great is apparently resting in this region but is lucky because nobody has found him.

A mystery on this journey was the amount of security on the long desert drive to Luxor. Why be stopped by a police station brimming with assault rifles and small cannon, every 50 Kim along a desert road when anyone serious could 4WD across the desert to create mischief. Let alone four dudes outside our lunch hotel, with pistols easily extractable by any serious urban terrorist, dangling from their back pockets.

Maybe some of these gun toting dudes could come on board with us as we next head through the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden where the Somali pirates hang out. Its taken seriously by our Cruise Ship: we even have Pirate drill.

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