Today we spent the day in Wadi Rum, which is a vast desert National Park in southern Jordan. I am going to let Melek tell you her thoughts and then I will fill in with more details.
Melek – At 6.30 in the next morning (yea another early morning) we got on a bus to go to the desert and I have to say our tour was much better than the ones others did. since we got a nice jeep to go around in (well done to Shane one more time). It was a vast and endless emptiness, silence, and beautiful colors. We climbed up the rocks to
see the views and valleys and climbing was really not my thing… but by the end of the day I was like where are we climbing up next? The sunset should be nicer if we climbed up this rock!
At noon time we were on the shady side of one of the canyons and both of us and our guide ended up taking a nap. When I woke up I felt like I was not in this world anymore. No cars, no people, no noise only birds singing….what a day! All the day we were climbing up the rocks, seeing the view and continuing to the next stop. I have realized that
when you’re trying to climb up the rocks you cannot think about anything else than not falling off and keep going. At one point as it was scorching hot, I said I wish it would rain. After a while we got strong winds, a sand storm, and then rain! Shane doesn’t call it rain as it was only for a little while but I say “God heard my wish and it rained”. So I guess we did have everything possible in the desert (heat, sand storm, a nap in a shade, rain and adventure).
The best part about being in desert is “sleeping in the middle of desert”. When we arrived at our camp area, I did see a nice rock where it was flat on the top part and was perfect for watching the sunset! So we climb up there and waited for the sunset! It was a beautiful sunset as we watched from the top of the rocks and I have to admit it was so romantic!
Sleeping in the desert is fun but can be scary as it is dark, silent, and I am sure there are insects! Our guide, Eid, and Shane had fun scaring me with their stories and in the middle of the night I woke up thinking that there is scorpion in my bed but there wasn’t. 🙂
Shane – As Melek said, we caught a 6am bus to travel two hours to Wadi Rum. If I had been thinking I would have found another couple and taken a taxi in half that time and a bit later in the morning for just a little more than all four of us paid for the bus. Oh well. At least you know for when you visit.
Once the bus arrived at the front gate and visitors center our guide from Bedouin Advisors met us and whisked us to a house so we could get ready for our jeep trek through the desert. Two side notes here are first the Bedouin are a group of Arabic nomadic people that have lived in this area for eons. Second, it did not take long for me to realize Eid’s, our guide, personality was just like mine. In fact, he was basically an Arab version of me when it came to humor and sarcasm….to Melek’s horror as you read above. 🙂
If you ever visit Jordan do not miss spending the day and night in this amazing desert, where you will see the sandy desert floor with giant, sheer sided mountains plopped down everywhere (Saturday’s “Photo of the Day” is a great shot of this vista, so don’t miss it). This place is the definition of remote and for that reason
Lawrence (of Arabia fame) spent time here as he helped lead the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire in World War I. In fact, he is credited with two of the highlights during this tour. The first is the natural spring on the hillside where he installed pipes to bring the water down to the desert floor, so everyone’s animals could drink. The other spot related to him is a ruined stone house next to a big rock where he may have stayed or stored arms. I will admit that movies played against me on this one because Alex Guinness stars in the movie Lawrence of Arabia, and he also played Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: A New Hope. In Star Wars his character lived in a rock cave, so as stupid as it sounds I was kind of expecting to see something similar (of course seeing all the cave houses in Petra did not help….you did read about that two days ago, right?).
Some other highlights were Khaz’ali Canyon where Arabic script has been carved into the canyon wall (this is tomorrow’s photo of the day so FOLLOW me on Instagram), A huge sand dune that is really fun to run down (not climb up though), three natural rock bridges (two of which we climbed on), and our favorite Sig Um Al Tawaqi which is a fantastic little slot canyon too narrow for a vehicle so you have to walk through and have your guide meet you on the other side.
And that was only during the day. At night we had a tent in their desert camp, which is a whole other experience. It was complete with showers and toilets. Eid and another guide even cooked a fantastic dinner and breakfast. As Melek stated we climbs a low rock (maybe
20-25 feet) and got a FANTASTIC sunset. We even had a fan as a friendly cat, I named him Cat (does anyone know the reference?), followed us up the rock. If you read the blog last Saturday about Petra At Night you might be worried about me and Cat, but don’t worry she was not aggressive (if you missed this blog you should LIKE me on Facebook, so this does not happen again! 🙂 ). In fact, all she wanted was to be loved by me. I feel special because some others in camp tried to get her to come to them, but she walked right by and laid on my feet. Wadi Rum was truly a magical adventure in the desert!
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