Memories of: Wadi Rum 2009

Wadi Rum is, in my mind, the most spectacular place on Earth. It is a vast red desert filled with amazing Mesas, dunes and cliffs.

We hired a personal 4WD tour from the hotel but spent quite a bit of time scrambling over the rocks, exploring.

Our first stop was a huge dune which we climbed, marveling at how deep and loose the sand was. It was a trudge but the views across the desert were magnificent. Mars like. I had worn my “Planet of the Apes” T-shirt on purpose!

Next stop was a gap in a cliff. Outside one of the cliffs looked like a face. Inside were some very unexpected petroglyphs! I had not researched the area so had no idea what to expect. There was a lot of history in this desert. They were created by the nomads that roamed the area for thousands of years and there are twenty thousand of them scattered throughout the desert. They are one of the reasons the area is a UNESCO world heritage area.

There was a rock resembling a griffin that seemed to be a local landmark – at least one the guide was thrilled to show his clients. At one point I climbed straight up one of the cliffs with the guide who seemed intent of taking the steepest route possible. I climbed to the top of a rock arch and waved down to my wife who had absolutely no interest in following me up! The views were well worth it.

Then we found ourselves at a Bedouin camp having some of the astonishingly sweet tea that was the local favourite (I didn’t like it!). The tents we amazing, floored by ornate rugs giving an air of opulence in the desert. We walked a short way and sat on a cliff watching the sun descend over the valley. The way the light played on the red cliffs was like looking at a million Uluru’s. There is simply no place like this on Earth and I was just simply blown away by the beauty.

The tour ended and the memories of those red cliffs are burned into me. I really felt like I was standing on Mars or maybe Arrakis. Petra and Wadi Rum made me fall completely in love with Jordan and its history and I wouldn’t hesitate to return.

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