We were ready. We started with a backpack filled with adventure, a toothbrush, a fresh shirt and some underwear. We took the first bus in the morning from Amman to Aqaba. For us it seemed to be the most convenient and stress-free way to reach our destination. After four hours bus ride through the impressive landscape we arrived in Aqaba, where we took a taxi further to Wadi Rum´s Visitor Center (entry to the desert where we had to pay a small entrance fee, which eventually supports the reserve and the local Bedouins). Minutes later we entered Rum Village, home of most of the local Bedouins, including our guide and camp owner. Following Jordanian hospitality we were invited into the house of our camp guide to have some tea. This tea usually contains a lot of sugar (extremely sweet) – even more in Wadi Rum. Well knowing that it definitely wasn´t the last tea we’ll get on our trip. ,)
Stocked with water and some food, a Nissan pick-up truck carried us through the wild untamed desert. Our journey began.
After half hour drive on comparatively gentle road (as it turned out later) we were invited to another Bedouin’s tent for lunch and of course more tea. Fortunately, it was also possible to get the tea without sugar… what a relief. After some hummus with our new Bedouin friends the trip continued. We passed by rock formations, which looked like bridges and sometimes camel caravans, as well as ancient petroglyphs.
After a while of driving through sand and rocky ground, Fais, our tour guide, stopped at a single rock surrounded by stone built fragments. It turned out as the wall fragments of Lawrence’s house – the famous ‘Lawrence of Arabia’. I hiked up a steep path to the top of the house/rock for a better view. It was an amazing feeling to sit and rest there looking at the indescribable shiny red desert. A scene like in flames.
Back in the jeep, Fais asked us ‘do you know this?’, indicating a snowboard. ‘Yes, of course, it’s a snowboard’, we were quite sure, but he just responded ‘no, it´s a sandboard’… certainly smiling. Then he brought us to a huge sand dune. Quickly getting Fais’ idea, my husband was keen on trying the sandboarding, but I wasn´t. Instead I decided to climb up the dune and doing more the cheering ,). But when I saw how much fun it was, and realized it wasn´t as dangerous as I thought, I tried it too. I guess I even started to like it.
Heading through the desert for the rest of the day we finally came to our Camp. What a pleasant place in the middle of nowhere! We booked a double-tent with a bathroom; the perfect accommodation for this type of adventure. Only minutes after our arrival, Fais picked us to bring us to his famous sunset spot. We climbed up a small rock for an even better view. Unfortunately, my camera wasn´t good enough to capture the beauty of this natural spectacle. In fact, I am not sure if any camera could catch that moment right. Find my try below.
Back in the camp, it was already dinnertime. We found a place to sit outside in the desert. The entire camp was illuminated with candles, the ground was covered with rugs, and some sofas or pillows encircled a fire. A group of Bedouins showed us where the traditional Bedouin barbecue ‘Zarb’ was cooked, which is a meal of lamb, chicken, potatoes and vegetables. It was grilled and steamed whole day in a hot coal oven buried in the desert´s sand. Unforgettable experience to be a part of this tasty tradition.
Later that night the Bedouins and some guests started to dance and sing around the fireplace. For us, it was time to leave after an exciting day, looking forward to the coming one in Wadi Rum.
Waking up next morning and opening the tent window I was scared by a caravan of camels standing directly in front. Much later I’ll appreciate it as a unique moment never to forget. After breakfast, we enjoyed just sitting in the desert preparing ourselves for our ‘Hike to Jordan’s Highest Mountain’; but that’s another story I will share with you next time.
Cheers with sunbeams.