The magnificently beautiful Wadi Rum
Trip Start Jan 18, 2010
7Trip End Jan 24, 2010
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We started off after breakfast for the almost 121km drive from Wadi Musa to Wadi Rum via the modern Desert Highway. It took us only about 1.5 hour and the drive was a very pleasant one, unlike the one we did a few days before via the King's Highway.
We had booked a 1-day Jeep Tour with a young guide named Mehedi from Bedouin Directions after reading some positive reviews about him on Tripadvisor. Our booking was done with him through his e-mail at email@example.com and he was quick to reply our queries and confirm our booking
His itinerary is similar to all the other Bedouin operators from Wadi Rum and during our trip with him, we were very fortunate to be his only guests. Mehedi is only 22 years old, speaks reasonably well English and is a little shy initially. However, he is able to answer all our questions about Wadi Rum and the Bedouin lifestyle, being a Bedouin himself.
He was right on time to greet us at the Visitor’s Centre like he said he would and we only had to pay JOD2 per person for the admission to Wadi Rum.
From the Visitor’s Centre, we followed Mehedi in his trusted jeep to the village where it is a safer place for us to park our rented car for the night. We stopped at a nearby café for a cup of tea while getting to know Mehedi better and to discuss the itinerary of the day with him. Following Mehedi’s advice, we ventured behind the café after that to explore some ancient ruins, though to be once a temple of the local inhabitants there. We met some lovely Bedouin children with their pet goats – who were initially very aggressive in asking us for money. However, we told them we will not give them any and we made friends with them instead, speaking to them via sign language and finally won them over as friends
By now, we have begun to accept the fact that ancient ruins are not always protected like how they would be in Europe. The ruins which we saw here were left to the forces of nature, with rubbish lying around them and stones falling off at some parts. After having seen vendors nailing into the walls of some of the tombs in Petra to hang their wares, we were not so surprised any more. But it is a pity, really!
Our desert tour:
We then climbed into Mehedi’s jeep to start our tour with him. We stopped at the following places, which are considered as the highlights for this beautiful desert. We have put up photos of most of these places here.
Lawrence Spring - named after T.E. Lawrence, of Lawrence of Arabia fame. Unimpressive to us, but it is a must-see for all visitors to Wadi Rum.
Khazali Canyon - this red-stoned canyon once used by the Bedouins as a resting place and we can see why
Red Sane Dunes – we has so much fun climbing up these beautiful dunes and then floating, skipping and running down them!! The view from the top of these dunes are unbelievably breathtaking!!
Anfishieh Inscriptions – we then stopped at some rocks to see the famous inscriptions on the Anfishieh Jebel from the Thamudic and Nabatean periods. As you can see from our photos, these carvings are quite distinct and clear despites their age.
House of Lawrence – continuing from there, we stopped at a Nabatean structure alleged to have been used by Lawrence the Arabia to store weapons during the Great Arab Revolution.
Burdah Arch – we can only look at this natural rock bridge from afar as we do not have time to climb it in our tight schedule.
Um Frouth Arch – as a compensation for not being able to conquer the Burdah Arch, Mehedi took us to this smaller one, where we had fun scrambling up and down it!
Small Sand Dune and the "Chicken Rock" – towards the end of the day, we went up to some small sand dunes and climbed up to watch the beautiful desert landscape. With a view so awesome, you can be forgiven of not noticing a nearby rock which is supposed to look like a chicken. In fact, we realised later that we did not even take a photograph of this rock!!
Camping on the desert:
At sunset, we were brought to Mehedi’s uncle’s camp because at the time we were there (January 2010), his own camp was not yet ready. He told us that it would be ready by the end of February 2010 and is located not far away from his uncle’s. His uncle’s camp is located on a high ground overlooking some really beautiful pink/red rock formation – see our pictures. Although we were there during winter, our tent (which can sleep up to 4) was surprisingly warm and adequate blankets and duvets were provided for our use. Toilets and shower cubicles are available on the camping ground but there is no hot water.
Again, we were the only 2 guests at the camp and we spent our time chatting with Mehedi and some of the other guides who were spending a night there, by a burning fire over hot cups of tea
The following morning, we woke up to beautiful views of the pink rocks surrounding the camp site. With the sun ray beaming and reflecting on the colourful rocks, we were sat quietly just staring at the immense beauty and were totally captivated and mesmerised by this unrecognised Wonder of the World. I, for one, would really love to return to this place again and again and again…
Our verdict on Mehedi from Bedouin Directions :
We feel very comfortable with Mehedi and would say that he took care of us really well. His explanation on the significance of each and every site which we visited was precise and succinct. He was discreet to leave us on our own at each sight to give us ample time to take in the view and to snap photographs. He was also flexible and accommodating with our requests to stop at places which interest us.
At some of the sites which we visited, there were tea/coffee tents set up by local Bedouins and we would often stop by for a cup of their fabulous complimentary mixed herb tea and chat with the owners through interpretation by Mehedi.
We would highly recommend his services to other tourists to the magnificently beautiful Wadi Rum.