Jordan – Wadi Rum

The drive through Wadi Rum to the desert camp was terrific. Probably the highlight of Jordan in terms of ambience and experience. You felt like you were on the set of Lawrence of Arabia, and indeed you were! The WWI scenes where a light plane was attacking Lawrence and the Arab troops were shot here. I’m going to find it and watch it again as soon as I get home.

Going to desert camp by 4WD
Lhoucine gets dressed by Hameed for the desert drive
Hameed with rock carvings
Camels in Wadi Rum. Can’t tell whether it’s Bedouin or tourists riding them.
Watching the sunset from the crag behind our camp
Rainbow Camp
Happy campers

There was feasting and dancing, in which I briefly partook. One of the gang sent me a video in which this is depicted but it will not be screened. There was a bloke playing the oud. I liked that and the other indigenous music although it didn’t need to be amplified. I retired bedwards to my tent when the disco stuff came on: ‘Nutbush City Limits’ – that kind of thing. Hameed had told us the music would go on to 11.30, but fortunately most of us campers were middle-aged or older and when everyone had left the communal space by about 9pm, the musicians and DJs packed up and we all got an early night, Allah be praised. The tents were pretty basic but at least it was quiet and there was no ungodly hour call to prayer.

The lads like a toke of shisha in the morning
Ready to drive back through Wadi Rum
Landscape near Aqaba

Wadi Rum is in the south near the Jordanian port of Aqaba. On our way back north we stopped at Shobak Castle, built by crusader king Baldwin I in 1115.

Me with Dana – Shobak Castle above

Shobak Castle was one of the toughest for the muslims to retake from the Christian crusaders, but they eventually did it.

The sign reads ‘Smallest Hotel in the World’
People do actually stay here, according to Hameed
It’s guarded by fierce Mamluk warriors, who ran me through with their scimitars though I did put up a fight as you can see
From Shobak Castle. Note dwellings made from local rock blending into hillside
On the road again – landscape around Ma’an

We headed north again to the Dead Sea, to the west of Amman, where our guide and driver will leave us and the party go separate ways.

We stop at places like this. Hameed called it a caravanserai, and I suppose it is a modern version. That;s our bus to the left….
Us and the bus which, incidentally, had wifi!! A first for me on a bus tour. A boon and a blessing, mostly.