On this day, we ventured southwards from the beautiful Petra towards the famous desert Wadi Rum.
After 2hrs of drive, we arrived at the carpark of the Wadi Rum visitor’s center and proceeded to the center. From there, since we were going to drive in ourselves (we didn’t have a 4WD anyways), we booked the most time practical tour available, a 5hrs jeep tour, considering we were going to drive back to Madaba for the night.
From the office, we were greeted by our English speaking Bedouin guide and boarded our retro looking jeep. The first stop was the Rum village where the guide stopped by a shop and went in to back a plastic bag of food, apparently our lunch.
The desert was huge and driving from point to point took some time. The guide showed some desert map and the different places we were visiting before we drove onwards to Lawrence Spring. Upon reaching the location, the guide allowed us to roam the area gave us some history on the spring and Lawrence. He pointed that the spring can be found high up in the rocks. So I started climbing towards the green bushes and it was tough! There weren’t any path upwards and there were loose rocks. Furthermore, the searing hot weather was adding to the challenge.
When I finally reached, I could not see any water springs. Walked around towards the vegetation nearby and found a tiny pond, wondered if this was it. Incredible though, to see water in this really parch dry desert.
The view at the top was pretty good though.
Back to ground level, where the car parked was some watering points for camels. There was an option to take the camel for the tour, if anybody was crazy enough to do that in this hot weather.
The next location was a sand dune. We didn’t think much about the sand dune, after all it was only sand. Then we attempted to climb it and it was extremely difficult! Brought meaning to 2 steps forward and 1 step back. The sand was so fine and when we stepped onto it, our foot just sang in! Took awhile before making it to the half way point. I guessed sand surfing was probably possible if we had the rug.
Next we would visit the ancient inscriptions on the walls of the desert rocks. These were said to be from the Nabatean people long time ago. These were seen within the Khazali Canyon which was a narrow path between 2 towering rocks. We only managed going some tens of meters into the canyon before some climbing was required that we didn’t attempt. The high rocks provided a temporary reprieve from the heat from the midday sun, with the walls cool to the touch, and nice wind blowing into the gap.
Lunch was settled at a Bedouin tentage not too far drive from Khazali Canyon. Underneath this wide tentage almost size of a basketball court was a carpet for us to sit down and have lunch. There were a couple of bedouins sitting around smoking, taking a rest. Food wasn’t fantastic and mostly dry but we couldn’t expect much in a desert. Bedouin tea was served as usual.
The lunch time provided the opportunity to rest from the rather tiring activities thus far. After we were ready to hop onto the jeep towards the Little bridge. This was a rock bridge formed naturally that linked the top of two rocks together. It was an easy climb up to cross the bridge and get a photo.
The next location was a much bigger natural bridge called the Um Frouth bridge. Similarly formed naturally, this was a little more difficult to climb as it was steeper. Of course this had a better viewpoint than the Little bridge.
Lawrence house was the next location but there weren’t much left as the walls had crumbled. There weren’t much to see either so it was a shoot and go moment.
It was nearing the end of the tour and the guide gave us some jeep fun in the sand by driving down a steep sand slope, like a roller coaster. It was indeed pretty exciting.
The final stop before heading back was the Nabatean temple. Similarly, the ruins were all that were left for us to look at. Walked around for a while before getting onto the jeep for the return to the visitor’s center.
Once back at the visitor’s center, we disembarked, took a photo with our guide and got ready to long drive back to Madaba.
Along the highway, we saw outlets selling dead sea mud and we stopped for a while to stock up on gifts for people back at home. Rivage looked really familiar and so we got our stash of dead sea minerals mud pack and continued northwards towards Madaba.
The drive back was really long, by the time we arrived, it was already very late at Mosaic City Hotel. Along the way, we had almost ran out of petrol and worst of all, not all the petrol stations were opened 24hrs. Luckily we managed to pump at one station and arrived at the hotel.
The next day would be when we would cross over for the Israel leg of our travel.