After 2 nights in Aqaba Aref came to get us and drove us to Wadi Rum. It was only 15 minutes or so to get there. Wadi Rum is famous for it’s rock climbing and most of all it’s famous for having filmed “Lawrence Of Arabia” here. Most of you will know what it is (I hope so) but for those who don’t it’s a true story but note that it’s 3 hours or so long so when I watched it I nearly fell asleep (I didn’t watch it in one go).
Anyway on the way to the entrance we stopped off to have a good look at the train which took part in the film.-
After that Aref dropped us off at the entrance, so we said bye. Another man (Aoda) came in a jeep, introduced himself and took us to his home to meet his family. The main town is simply called Rum. All it had was basic shops, concrete houses and a small hospital. His house had 3 sitting areas, 1 bedroom, a kitchen and a small bathroom (with the squat toilet).He also had a lemon tree in his garden. There was a good view of the mountains on each side.
He had 6 children between the age of 5 and 18. His wife couldn’t speak any English but was very nice. When we came into his house and sat down on some mats with some tea, the children were in the other room with Jed and his wife was in the kitchen. He told us (after 10 minutes) that his wife was fat and he would get another one (all whilst laughing and smiling) but he can only say that because she couldn’t speak English. TUT, mum and the man laughed about it for while (I didn’t really listen so I had no idea what set them off).
After several minutes I went in the other room, now and again trying to make a conversation but it was very difficult as they didn’t speak much English. We asked Aoda what the ages of his children were but he didn’t know and the children only knew there own so he had to ask each one. After some more tea we left (we stayed about 2 hours) for the desert of Wadi Rum.
I can see why anybody would want to make a film here as the view is stunning. The mountains are on either side of a valley. As we drive through the valleys, you can see that in the center of the valley is the border between the red and white desert. I am not sure which desert I preferred but I got to know the Red desert better.
We drove through the desert stopping now and then to see natural archways and rock formations. The first main stop was a huge sand dune that went at least 500 meters high.
We walked it right to the top (it’s not easy you know) to find a spectacular view over Wadi Rum.
To save energy and time I ran down which trust me is a LOT more fun that walking.
After that he drove us to our camp where we would be camping that night. The tents were made up of a mixture of goat and sheep hair. There was a massive Bedouin tent there as well where we stayed for warmth for most of the late afternoon. At about 5 a small group of Italians arrived.
The cook was a Syrian (we think) and there was a Dutch girl volunteering there as well. About an hour before the buffet they put the chicken and vegetables on a rack and into a wood fired oven set into the sand. When they came out they were ready to eat. They were delicious! Especially the potatoes. Me and TUT kept going for more so we were stuffed at the end.
Our huts had a double bed and three singles but we put them together so we could keep warm easily.
The nights here are freezing in winter so if you came here I would suggest to bring thick winter clothing. We had at least 5 woolen blankets and were fully dressed in bed and it was better if you didn’t move about much.
The next day we had a yummy breakfast and set off for a jeep tour.
The first stop was (apparently) where Lawrence slept while he was here. It was a cave which was well sheltered from the rain with a tunnel (which was very warm) leading to the other side of the rock.
Next was the biggest archway we saw that day.-
After a few photos we walked further down into the canyon to find a Bedouin tent (they were scattered all over the reserve) with a couple of men drinking tea next to a fire.
We stayed there for a while keeping warm whilst watching snow fall (a rare occurrence) and loving up the cats.
This might be a bit uninteresting for people who dislike cats (maybe you should skip the sentence) but they had the softest fur any cat could have and they had the red colour of the sand in their fur which could have been natural.
For the last stop we went to Khaz’ali Canyon to see some petroglyphs etched into the cave walls depicting human and antelopes dating back to Thamudic times. The baby Jed was asleep so we couldn’t all go. I stayed in the car whilst the three of them went.
Once they came back I set off on my own with only some brief directions from mum. I saw a few but not half as many as they did but here are some photographs which my mum took-.
We were going to stop one more night at the camp but Aoda said it would be too cold and that we might get stuck because of the snow so we went to his house. We stayed there for most of the afternoon chatting and playing with his kids and slept the the night in one of their living rooms.
They made some lovely food for us and were very kind to us.
They had put a heater in so we didn’t have to worry about warmth but the blankets were a bit itchy at first but then we got used to it. Even though it was comfy and warm I couldn’t sleep. I won’t lie, I did sleep towards the end but it took a long time.
The next morning we woke up and they brought us some breakfast into our room. The Bedouins are like the Indians in this context as they don’t like to eat with guests.
When we went outside we had a beautiful view of glittering mountains covered by white snow.
Yes, snow. It doesn’t usually stick on the ground as it just sinks into the sand. Next to the house there is a yard with two cars in it full of snow.
All the families near here and Aoda brothers and so on gathered here to make snow balls and throw them at each other. I have never seen any one enjoying snow as much as these children. They very rarely get snow so this was a big treat. They were also messing with a goat nearby and it kept standing on it’s hind legs and enjoying the fun with them.
When the time came we said bye to every one and said thank-you to his wife, we jumped in the car and Aoda drove us to the entrance.
Aref, unfortunately wasn’t coming as he lived in Wadi Musa (near Petra) which was blocked by snow like much of Jordan. So we didn’t get to say a full thanks and good bye to him but we rang him later on in the day. But he had sent a taxi to take us to the borders.
Well that was the end of another interesting country.
See you back in Egypt!
If you fancied a trip with Aref or just need a taxi ride this is his full name so you can find him on facebook-. Aref Salameen.
If you wanted a Wadi Rum tour and fancied it with Aoda here is his website.- http://www.wadirumcamelcamp.com .
I hope you found it useful!