Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Jordan’s Wadi Rum: Camping anyone?

It was somewhere between Jordan’s ancient rose-red city of Petra and meeting up with the Bedouin guide that the urge struck us. It’s not an unfamiliar sensation and most of you’ve probably felt it at some inopportune time in your travels. . .

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Jordan's Wadi Rum
All that bottled water they’d been having us drink to stay hydrated had done its job, but now we both had a pressing urge to part with some of it. And the endless Wadi Rum desert-scape stretching out before us held little promise of any bathrooms appearing soon.

PicMonkey Collage
A turn-of-the-century Turkish train - Wadi Rum, Jordan
Well, that was until a small train ‘station’ – think “Lawrence of Arabia”  here – seemed to appear out of nowhere.  A train station that had a vintage Turkish train sitting on the tracks in front of it; one that probably had been in use back when the real Lawrence was traipsing through this part of Jordan.  The station-turned-modern-day-coffee shop -- with advertisements for its espresso drinks and undoubtedly, a bathroom inside -- was closed.

So we, along with another carload of tourists who had arrived, explored the train.

‘Not to worry’, our guide told us.  "You can use the bathroom at the Bedouin camp."

‘Right!’, I thought to myself.  We’d seen a couple of those ‘camps’ along the way. . .

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Bedouin camp between Petra and Wadi Rum
. . .but then again there comes a point that one can’t be too picky or prudish when one travels.

P1010276So we climbed into that Bedouin guide’s pickup (you can read about that here)and set off into the Wadi Rum; first stop the Bedouin’s camp bathroom. 

And, here is where my Magic Carpet Ride tale takes a 180-degree turn. . .



The camp was amazing.

Posh. In fact, so posh I’m ready to return and do some camping – or better yet, glamping.


This Bedouin camp is designed for tourists, one of several the Bedouins have built and operate to provide accommodations to the growing number of eco-tourists drawn here. In this case, the facilities rival many we’ve seen in America that label themselves ‘glamp grounds’ (On the off chance you’ve not heard the term, ‘glamping’ it is short for ‘glamorous camping’. )

We walked through the restaurant/lounge area to reach the bathroom. . .

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Restaurant/lounge at the Bedouin camp - Wadi Rum, Jordan

And as I opened the door in the tent-structure housing the “WC’s”, I thought I was seeing a mirage:

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Ladies room - Bedouin camp, Wadi Rum, Jordan
With our pressing needs taken care of in the most luxurious of desert settings, we were off to explore the rest of this Bedouin camp:

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A solar lighted walkway links the common areas above and the individual tents.

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Tents at the Bedouin camp - Wadi Rum, Jordan
Can’t you imagine sitting under the stars sipping a glass of wine on your deck?

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You can rent this tent - Wadi Rum, Jordan
And then retiring for the night in your own Bedouin tent. . .in a setting like this you’d almost expect Sheherazade to appear at your bedside, ready to lull you to sleep with one of her 1,001 Arabian tales.

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Tent interior, bedroom and en suite - Wadi Rum, Jordan
If that cluster of tents was too crowded for you, they also provide some singles that are out a bit further:

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For those wanting more solitude - Wadi Rum, Jordan
There was something magical about the Wadi Rum, and I am certainly ready to go back. Perhaps even in our brief time there we experienced what Lawrence of Arabia said best,

   “No man can live this life and emerge unchanged. He will carry… the imprint of the desert… and he will have within him the yearning to return…. For this cruel land can cast a spell which no temperate clime can match.” 
T.E. Lawrence*

Details:

Information about Jordan can be found at the country’s tourist site: www.visitjordan.com

Photos in this post were taken at:
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Map picture

Petra is to the north of Aqaba (the port city where our Oceania Nautica was docked for two nights as part of the cruise we took from Bangkok, Thailand to Istanbul, Turkey). It is an approximate two hour drive between Petra and Wadi Rum, both are marked with red pushpins on the map above.

(*Thanks to blogger friends the Traveling Solemates – I used the Lawrence quote from their site; they also are taken with Wadi Rum.)

Our 35-day cruise was coming to an end, but not before we transited the Suez Canal and headed for Israel, so we've got a few more Magic Carpet Ride tales to tell. Thanks for being with us. A big welcome to our new Google Friends and subscribers! Happy travels to you and yours ~

Linking this week with:
Mosaic Monday – 
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Wordless Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday – 
Photo Friday
Weekend Travel Inspiration

58 comments:

  1. Thanks for bringing me along on your fabulous adventures.

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    1. We are so glad you are with us! Keep the bags packed. . .we've got new places to explore!

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  2. Wow! I would have thought that bathroom was a shimmering mirage, too! Amazing! What a marvelous experience glamping in this Bedouin camp would be! Sign me up!

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    1. I still smile when I look at that photo Betsy as that was the last thing I expected to find when I opened that door! Thanks for stopping by~

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  3. WOW! OK, Petra, Wadi Rum, Jordon, and staying in a Bedouin camp have been on my list for a while. That public bathroom cinches it.

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    1. Oh Gaelyn you would so love Jordan. We were just remarking on its similarities to Arizona last week on our whirlwind road trip to the SW US. I think you must go there!

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  4. Hahaha I was dreading to think what the loo was going to be like with your first photo of the Bedouin camp. I wish I'd been with you when you opened the door to that marble wonder of a bathroom I can just imagine your face. Lol

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    1. I was so stunned, I could have wet my pants, Sue. In fact I could have wet my pants no matter what had been behind that door! ;-)

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  5. Wow - GREAT shots!
    Thanks for sharing with us at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2016/03/dominica-caribbean-jewel.html

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  6. What a surprise. A modern day bedouin camp. Brilliant.

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    1. Tourism strikes again, Jan! It really is tempting to go back and spend a night there. Thanks for the visit. xxx

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  7. OMYGOSH...what a pleasant surprise ....that is a beautiful bathroom...and I would love to stay in one of those amazing tent-like "cabins"...LOL

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    1. They were rather warm in the mid-day sun but I can just imagine the magic of the twilight and night there, BJ. Hopefully one day, I'll get to experience it as well! Thx for the visit!

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  8. Well, now that was quite unexpected! An oasis of glamour in the middle of the desert. What a great surprise for you!

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    1. I think I was about as surprised as I have ever been to pull up to that camp and see it was really a 'resort' in a manner of speaking. Thanks for stopping by, Mary!

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  9. I camped in Wadi Rum about 20 years ago but it was a very different experience. We slept under the stars and the next morning I discovered I'd also slept on (and squashed) a scorpion.....#myweeklypostcard

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    1. Oh good heavens! That wouldn't have been a pleasant find - I guess at least it was dead - but still, that would give me jitters and then some. Thanks for sharing that memory - keep 'em coming. Hope you'll be back often.

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  10. What an amazing setup! I'd never thought it's so luxury! How about the temperature; does it get hot in the tents in daytime and very cold in the night?

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    1. It was very 'warm' in the tent on the afternoon we toured it. I would definitely check temperatures before booking a stay there and try and time my visit for a time it would be moderate at least!

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  11. Now that was a surprise! I was picturing a squat toilet at best or a version of one of the multiple ways a sarong or pashima can be used when there are no trees to hide behind. Your posts on Egypt and now Jordan have us researching some future trips of our own!

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    1. At that point I could have used anything, anywhere, but this was a stunning find. I know you two would love the adventures of Egypt and Jordan -- we are enjoying your trip to Fez right now!

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  12. Sharing your experiences all around the world is more than surprising or exciting. I admire the fact that you have no fear and still travel in dangerous places.Please, take care!
    Much love, Olympia

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    1. We've met the most wonderful, kind people in our travels, Olympia. Thanks for your good wishes for our safety! Hugs to you, Jackie

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  13. What a wonderful looking camp. We spent 2 nights in a camp in Wadi Rum. It was a fabulous experience. Whilst the bathroom of the camp was not as luxurious as yours, it was pretty good and together with wonderful food and the friendly Bedouins, we loved our stay and the experiences it offered.

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    1. I am envious of your stay Jenny! I do have high on my list a return to Jordan and a stay, at least one night, at a camp. I can think of nothing more fabulous to add to my 'been there, done that' list. Thanks for the visit!

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  14. Oh gosh - yes please! Look at that bedouin camp - and that restroom! I certainly looks like a different experience to have and I'd love to try it one day.
    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Wouldn't you just love to say, "While we stayed at the Bedouin camp. . ." and see the response of your friends? Thanks for the visit! Happy travels this week~

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  15. Hello, what an amazing camp. The bathroom looks beautiful and not what I would expect. Thanks for sharing this experience. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

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    1. Thanks so much for the visit Eileen - and yes, that bathroom took my breath away - certainly not what I expected. Have fun with photos this week - see you soon!

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    1. Yes, a surprise it was! Thanks much for the visit~

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  17. The tent like cabins look like just the ticket! I love the quote by Lawrence - very true!

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    1. It was the perfect quote and I really must again credit those two "Traveling SoleMates" for it! Thanks for stopping by Jo!

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  18. That is the nicest bathroom ever! You were SO lucky to get such a nice place. When I stayed overnight in the desert in Morocco, let's just say a "bush" was my bathroom, but, I did sleep under the stars so it was worth it.
    I've always wanted to go to Petra so I would definitely check this "camp" out!

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    1. Oh Janice I have a friend who took a tour of Morocco and was struck by the 'traveler's tummy' and she also reports that her needs were met by a 'bush'! Thanks for sharing that memory -- come back soon!

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  19. What can I say? Incredible aspects... the travel presentation is impressive and in a funny note (plus the bathroom with marble... wow)!! Magical aspects; love how you said: "I thought I was seeing a mirage"....
    For sure, another incredible place to see, to visit. Many thanks for visualisation of all these images captured through your camera lens! best regards in the new week of March!

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    1. Alexa thanks much for the wonderful comment. Glad you enjoyed the post! Have a great week - Jackie

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  20. When you've got to go, you've got to go. How nice to have such a pleasant surprise. Certainly unexpected.

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    1. Yes, one common trait of all travelers is when the need to go builds it becomes necessary to think beyond our camera! Thanks for the visit -

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  21. What a lovely surprise, Jackie!
    Your story reminded me of our safari tent in Zimbabwe. We were very prepared to 'rough it' and then we arrived at our camp. It was luxury in the middle of the bush.
    I wouldn't mind hanging out here, and sipping a lovely glass of prosecco and watching the sunset. Sun City Luxury camp is the place to go!
    Thanks for the tour, Jackie!!

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    1. Oh my, I can only imagine that tent in Zimbabwe. Did you write about that on your blog? I don't recall that one and since it is one of my 'bucket list items' going on safari, I think I should have recalled it! Thanks for stopping by Marcia.

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  22. Wonderful shots. That is really interesting place.

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  23. I've never tried glamping as such, but I love that you could enjoy the Lawrence of Arabia fantasy but still have a proper bed and bathroom! Wadi Rum is a beautiful place to visit in any case, especially when the sun is low and turns the hills red.

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    1. Wish we could have had a full 24-hours there and do hope to get back to see that setting sun and the color of the hills. Thanks for adding that memory, helps to imagine it as daylight turns to dusk.

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  24. What an adventure. The inside of the tent is fabulous.

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    1. It was a great adventure - but it would have been a better one had we spent the night in that tent. One of these days. . .

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  25. I really want to get to Jordan, but things keep changing the plan. Fabulous photos, and thanks for sharing.

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    1. I am going back I keep telling myself. Joel wants to return to Myanmar and I've said we could do that as long as I get to sleep in a tent in Jordan.

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  26. I was starting to feel sorry for you Jackie, a bathroom when needed is a welcome sight but I sure didn't expect what you came across. Definitely glamping at its best!

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    1. Ha, ha, Judith - I was also feeling a bit sorry for myself and wondering where I'd finally find 'relief' - another good example of travel surprises! Thanks for the visit -

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  27. Looks like the whole world has gone commercial. - Margy

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    1. Well in the Wadi Rum, there may be some commercialism but it is so few and far between that eco-tourists will certainly not be disappointed. Thanks for stopping by Margy!

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  28. Wow, this is amazing!
    I fell in love with Wadi Rum as a teen growing up in Chicago. I still haven't been there but at least now I am closer. :)

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  29. What a great story! That bathroom was amazing and certainly unexpected!

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  30. Definitely not the bathroom I would expect in a Bedouin camp. And to think that I might have been tempted to crouch down by the side of the road and ask everyone to look the other way.

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  31. Interesting post with the nice photos

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