Camping in the desert

Trip Start Nov 22, 2010
Trip End Jan 11, 2011

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Flag of Jordan  ,
Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Unfortunately, we don't quite make it to the Wadi Rum in time for sunset, although not for lack of trying. The van arrives around 4:30 and it's still light out, so things seem promising. But we soon learn that seeing the sunset is not a simple matter of walking into the desert. Instead, the horizon is blocked by hills. So we start climbing rock formations to get a higher vantage point. We never do get to see the sun set over the hills, just the aura gradually fading to darkness. But no matter, for our day in the wadi is just beginning.

That night is a home cooked bedouin meal, followed by a few hours of dancing to traditional (and western) music.

That night we sleep in tents and wake bright and early for a predawn camel ride into the desert. The ride is not without incident. Travis gets thrown to the ground almost immediately, but props to him for getting right back on his camel for the ride. When we dismount in the desert, Maria's camel decides to get back up when she's three quarters of the way off, giving her about ten seconds of a wild ride as the guides struggle to hold her up and contain her camel.

After some time for photos of the sunrise, we enjoy a less dramatic ride back to the tents, followed by a standard (i.e., mediocre) mid-Eastern breakfast. At ten, most of us take off in jeeps for a tour of the desert and a meeting with the local Bedouins. The highlight is seeing the spot where T.E. Lawrence met with King Abdullah, even though the carvings were significantly smaller than I had anticipated. By the time we get back to our camp, it's hot enough for me to change into shorts for the brief trip to Aqaba. 
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