Leaving Aman, we drove down the Desert Highway towards Wadi Rum. It was a long drive and it was broken up with a stop for lunch. The lunch stop was a buffet of rice, salad and of course other middle eastern food. It also contained a large gift shop where I picked out one item (an oil lamp) that happened to be authentic and was priced at $3000 USD! It did not come home with us that day! I did, however, enjoy another delicious Turkish coffee, mmmmm!
We were given Keffiyeh scarves when we crossed into Jordan. Many of the local people in Jordan helped us tie our Keffiyeh scarves, and encouraged us to wear them. The scarves kept the sun off, the sand out and the warmth in! While in the desert, we visited a Bedouin family that allowed us to ride their camels, which was my first time doing so! I didn’t know that camels stood up by putting their back legs up first and that the person riding needed to hold on tight!
While there, we were driven around in 4×4 Totoya pick up trucks by local Bedouin men. It felt as though we were racing sitting in the truck bed on wooden benches. At the time I had my scarf around my neck and was foolishly wearing my beloved Canadian National Parks hat. Of course, it blew off my head! It makes me smile thinking that it could be on the head of a young person in the desert! Thank goodness I had my scarf, which was tied again back around my head for me!
We were driven to a huge sand dune and were encouraged to climb it! It took some work and our shoes filled with sand, but it was totally worth it. From the top you could see very far and see flat areas of the valley.
After the sand dune, we were welcomed into a Bedouin tent for tea. The water was boiled in kettles which were nestled in the heat of coals close to the ground. During our shared tea time, we sat and visited with some of the residents of the desert. The young men who were driving us around the desert enjoyed sharing some stories of their lifestyle and asked us many questions about ours.
This dessert is red, and areas were used as the film location for the movie Martian (that is what we were told!). The valley was created by the winds cutting into the sandstone. We explored a cavern with rock paintings.
If you are able to go to Wadi Rum, do it! I felt like I was on another planet and extremely remote. It was truly an experience, and I would not hesitate to go back.