Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum
Camel Crossing, Jordan

Wadi Rum is the stuff of dreams: sweeping landscapes of sand and rock and sky. We are looking forward to exploring this space and spending time with a local guide. We headed further south from Dana, for a Bedouin experience.

Our trusty driver Jad got us from Wadi Dana to Wadi Rum, stopping at the visitor check-in for appropriate desert head gear. The village parking lot was occupied by suitable desert transportation.

We booked our day tour and overnight accommodations with Wadi Rum Bedouin Way Camp. Once connected with our local host, we set out across the desert on padded seats in the back of an open truck. To minimize the impacts of visitors and protect this unique desert biome, tours are routed to specific locations on alternating days. Inhabited for millennia, some Bedouin families still make their homes in Wadi Rum. Amid the vast expanse, there are small slot canyons and niches providing cool shade, water, and evidence of previous inhabitants.

By midday, we were miles from anywhere. Our guide built a fire, providing a personal pop-up lunch stop, complete with tea.

After lunch, we explored a small canyon amid the rocks on foot for a more intimate look at the desert microclimates.

Late in the afternoon, we arrived at the camp in time for sunset. The camp provided Bedouin tent accommodations, with shared bathrooms, and family style dining.

As the stars emerged, we were entertained by local musicians while reclining on rugs laid down in the sand around a fire. The highlight of the evening was our dinner: a multi-tiered affair of meats and vegetables unearthed from the pit where it had been roasting all day.

Music, a fire, and the ubiquitous pots of tea – a perfect end to the day.

It’s not surprising that this singular place is favored for dramatic movie settings: Lawrence of Arabia, two Star Wars movies, and The Martian.

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