|Sand storm brewing in Jordan's Wadi Rum|
Stretching for more than 278 miles (720 kilometers),Wadi (Arabic for ‘valley or river channel’) Rum is also known as The Valley of the Moon. Our tour was through just a small portion of this expansive landscape, yet, that which we experienced seemed a vast, isolated world.
|A long lonesome road in Jordan's Wadi Rum|
With sand swirling out over the landscape we opted to ride in the cab with him, instead of in the back bed of the truck with its rather firm seats. His command of English was a bit limited, but far better than our ability to speak his language.
With our original tour-company driver assuring us he’d meet us in a couple hours for our trip back to the ship, we were off! In an old pickup. With a Bedouin driver. In the Wadi Rum. In Jordan. In the Middle East. . .
|Setting off in the Wadi Rum - Jordan|
It was silently screaming, “What are we doing?!?!”
I had obviously let my imagination get away from me – I’d listened to too many ‘well-meaning-but-overly-cautious-ones-back-home’.
What were we doing?
|Wadi Rum - Jordan|
The Wadi Rum was designated a ‘protected area’ in 1998 and in recent years it has become a popular destination for eco-tourism. Hiking, camel treks, rock climbing and camping bring thousands of tourists here each year. And that thriving tourism business is providing a new source of income for the Bedouin communities of the Wadi Rum.
Still, with increasing tourism, we saw just one other tour 'truck' similar to ours in the distance and one other Bedouin with his camels, hoping to convince some visitor to take a ride on his giant beasts.
|Visiting with the camel-ride vendor - Wadi Rum, Jordan|
Our guide knew his route – we’d have been hopelessly lost and turned around without him – and after slipping and sliding over the sand (which reminded us of driving in snow) he topped to point out some of the area’s ancient rock drawings carved into the sides of the sandstone and granite mountains that make up the Wadi Rum.
|Ancient rock drawings - Wadi Rum, Jordan|
|A portion of our route - Wadi Rum, Jordan|
|Absolutely loved this and not a posed scene for tourists - Wadi Rum, Jordan|
|Seven pillars of wisdom - Wadi Rum, Jordan|
Any number of tours are available in the Wadi Rum and a good source of information is found at www.wadirum.jo Should we get back there, I want to camp out over night. Next week I’ll tell you where I plan to camp!
Just for the record: I did leave information in our ship’s cabin that provided the name of the tour company, phone numbers, our destinations and estimated time of returning to the ship – just in case something had happened to us (intended or accidental) or that might have caused a delay in our return.
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Linking this week with:
Mosaic Monday –
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Travel Photo Thursday –
Weekend Travel Inspiration