I will always remember Petra, and not just for the stunning beauty of the ancient ruins. The people and animals that continue to live and work there left a deep impression.
In some ways this picture tells only a piece of the story. I stopped for a moment on the long hike upwards. A donkey rested tethered to a tree. Locals offer the donkeys as transport up the steep climb to the monastery. Waiting for a tourist, this donkey stood, staring dumbly at the path. Petra, with thousands of tourists, is utterly dependent on tourism. In constant need for me and thousands of strangers to spend money.
Thus I feel conflicted about that trip. I am grateful to have seen this place. Yet, my presence encouraged this industry further. Was my visit good or bad? I don't know.