Ali was his name. He wore a long grey robe with white pants underneath and on his head, a tuque. He looked quite westernized with the tuque! As he introduced himself, he explained to us that he was a Bedouin and had lived all his life in Wadi Rum. He grew up living in tents in the desert and being surrounded by this magnificent landscape all around him as a backyard. He seemed quite mature for his 23 years of age, proud of his origin plus had a good sense of humor.
As we made our way to the jeep, Ali asked us where we were staying in Amman. As I told him the name of our hotel, he replied to us, while projecting at the same time a big huge smile on his face, that our 5 star hotel was no comparison to his Wadi Rum, that his living quarters had a million stars, a millions stars from the sky illuminating this stunning landscape everynight. I was speechless for a few minutes! Something to dream about as he made us quite envious!
For the next three hours, Ali maneuvered his jeep through various magnificent sand desert routes as we explored the beauty of this unspoiled land enjoying the views of the impressive canyons and of the fabulous colorful sandstone hills rising out of the valley floor.
Our first stop was at a mountain known as the Seven Pillars of Wisdom and named by T.E. Lawrence. As Ali explained to us, this was where the movie Lawrence of Arabia was filmed. He also proudly told us that his grandfather appeared in the movie at a certain scene. He went on adding that his grandfather had four wives, that he had many, many brothers and sisters all living in tents in Wadi Rum and that he was engaged to be married this summer. He even showed us the picture of his fiancÚ! We asked him if he was going to follow into the footsteps of his grandfather, if he was going to have many wives? Without hesitating, his replied "No". One wife would be enough for him! Plus I'm not sure whether his fiancÚ would have liked it!!
Glancing back at the stunning beauty of this huge Seven Pillars of Wisdom mountain rising out of the valley floor and under the sun's rays casting a shadow on the reddish/orangy colored sand, it was absolutely wonderful! Who would have imagined in a millions years that I would be standing here in Wadi Rum at this precise moment in time witnessing this magnificent nature's formation!
Thankful for exploring Wadi Rum!