Showing posts with label glamping. Show all posts
Showing posts with label glamping. Show all posts

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. . .

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. . .

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. . .

PicMonkey Collage
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:

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:

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

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

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.

PicMonkey Collage
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:

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*


Information about Jordan can be found at the country’s tourist site:

Photos in this post were taken at:

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

Thursday, March 8, 2012

TP Thursday: Washington’s “Old West”

We live 'out West’in that part of America made famous by mid-20th Century television Westerns. 
Watching Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Gunsmoke’s Matt Dillon and Miss Kitty, and, of course, Bonanza's  Hoss, Little Joe, Adam and Ben Cartwright as kids we learned of those early days in our part of the country:  tumble weeds tumbling through vast open spaces, sparcely populated by 'Cowboys and Indians' and always with mountains in the distance. . .

So it shouldn't be surprising that one of our favorite stays in Central Washington was at a place that put us right in the 'Old West'; a step back in time, and less than a three-hour drive from Seattle.
Glamping 2010 015

We stayed in this 'room'  at Cherry Wood Bed and Breakfast, in the heart of Yakima Valley wine country.

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The bed and breakfast is a working ranch in the midst of an agricultural area, so the rates include a hearty ranch breakfast. Had we had the time, for an additional price, we could have saddled up and taken a trail ride tour of local wineries.  I must admit that our taste of the 'old West' was nothing at all like those black and white television shows where they pulled a thin bed roll off the back of the saddle and hunkered up on the hard pack by the campfire for warmth.

Our stay was for an article I was writing about ‘glamping’. . . , that cushie-kissed means of 'camping in comfort'. 

Glamping 2010 002 We did have our own old wooden "outhouse" to use when nature called. However, hidden behind these wood walls was a fresh-scented, plastic 'Port-a-Potty' which was pumped and cleaned regularly.

Glamping 2010 018  We brushed our teeth and washed up under the watchful eye of the self-appointed morning hygiene supervisor.

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When we stepped inside the ‘door’ – an opening in our canvas walled tee-pee -- we found ourselves surrounded by luxury:

Glamping 2010 001

Glamping 2010 011 
We offered a toast to the 'Old West" as we sat on the wooden swing, near the campfire pit watching the sun set over the far-distant Cascade Mountains, sipping our glasses of Yakima Valley wine.

Glamping 2010 014

It is TP Thursday so click this link to  Budget Travelers Sandbox and take a quick trip around the world through the lenses of my fellow travel bloggers.  And watch for the return of Washington Wednesdays, WAWednesdays, next week on Travelnwrite. This year's tales will begin at Iron Springs Resort at Copalis Beach.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Going 'Glamping' - Hawaiian style

J.Smith photo, (c) 2011
You know 'glamping' - it's the new buzz for glamorous camping.  Pampered tent camping or slightly 'roughing it' (in the loosest sense of the word) in other types of digs.

Hula Babe and Beach Boy have been 'glamping' since our arrival in Hawaii. . .not the rugged sleep on the beach in a tent stuff or tree house in the mountains, but still 'glamping' - taking ourselves out of the well-stocked routine of home and put into situations that call for a bit of resourcefulness. 

Our time in the tropics began in a two room suite with kitchenette at the Courtyard by Marriott in Waikiki (formerly the Wyland Hotel).  The place was incredibly spacious with a deck large enough to host 12, a living room, bedroom, bath, and kitchenette.  I called the week prior to our arrival just to make sure the kitchenette was stocked with plates, flatware and such. . .it was good that I had called, it seemed. 

"You have a microwave, refrigerator and coffee pot and cups. . .and nothing else" began the pleasant front desk clerk, who concluded the conversation with, "bring paper plates."

I followed her advice to a point - we brought plastic, cups, bowls, plates and flatware (I always carry a paring knife in my checked baggage as well as a bottle opener - those two will get us through in a pinch). After settling in, we saw a note in the kitchenette to call housekeeping for any kitchen items we might need - but since we'd hauled the stuff along, we used our own and 'glamped' in room for daily breakfasts and lunches. (Great on the pocketbook and in keeping the Diet to Go on track).

Now we are in the small side of our timeshare at Ko Olina; commonly called the 'lock-off' as it is an over sized luxurious bedroom suite with kitchenette, wet bar type sink, microwave and tiny refrigerator, table service and flatware for two. Here we have a toaster and just yesterday housekeeping delivered a salad bowl within minutes of my request (it is glamping after all).

Banks of communal barbecues stand under a bank of palm trees near the pool, and gathering at them to cook gives the feel of being around a campfire somewhere - but here the propane is lit, the tools are provided and you simply bring your food, BBQ it, and visit with fellow vacationers. We had a salad from the deli down the street as we don't have the dishware or storage space to make our own, but served it in that nice salad bowl from housekeeping.

This form of glamping is just a matter of breaking routine and making do with less, an exercise we've come to enjoy.

It is still a juggling act to cook and often we are reminded of our cooking in Pacific Northwest campsites.  While not always convenient, it requires creativity. . .which turns out to be surprising fun.  As I gaze out over the tops of palm trees and watch the waves break against the shore, I am certain that this form of 'glamping' can't be beat!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Putting the Glam in Camping

         Cherry Wood B and B
Glamping is catching on in Washington State. . .that would be a healthy dose of glamour and a bit of camping.  When those two concepts merge anything is possible, as we found out this summer. 

We 'glamped' in a tepee in the Lower Yakima Valley, about 170 miles from Seattle called Cherry Wood B and B a few weeks ago and just yesterday toured the new yurts at Chiwana Village at Sagecliffe Winery and Cave B Inn, near Quincy, Washington.  From our tepee we had views of Mount Adams and from the yurt, the mighty Columbia River rolled past - some 900 feet below us, by the way.

           view from Chiwana Village
I wrote about our glamping for the Seattle Times.  The article appears in the July 15, 2010 NWWeekend section. I chuckled at the reader's comment that appeared shortly after the article went on line.  The writer obviously doesn't understand 'glamping' - a high end experience!

Yurt interior Chiwana Village
One of the best sources for glampsites around the world is


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