Wadi Rum – The magical wilderness

After our exploration of Petra, the wonder city, it was time to take our adventures a step further and spend two full days in the Wadi Rum desert. We had already booked our stay and tours with Bedouin Life Style, a tour service run by Attallah. Although we were doubtful about our decision, at the end we were glad that we did.

We had initially booked 2 days of Wadi Rum exploration on camels, but Attallah suggested that we take a jeep tour on the first day and see all the view points and camel tour on the second day. I was reluctant at first, but then we took his advice. At the end of the second day, we were glad that we did.

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Day 1

We would be spending two nights in the desert camp so our baggage was sent directly to the camp from Bedouin Life Style’s office in the Wadi Rum village. We joined few more people for our whole day tour of the desert.

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The first stop we made was at Lawrence Spring. It is quite near to the Wadi Rum village and can also be visited on foot for the adventurous ones.

For people who are short on time, camel rides are arranged from the village to Lawrence Spring. After the ride, they hop on one of the tour vehicles which takes them on the rest of the tour.

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Next, we were driven to some sand dunes which were formed against huge rocks. The objective of this place is to provide tourists with the fun of climbing up and down the dunes.

Apart from that, the rocks at the top of the dunes also provide excellent panoramic views of the desert. At this point we started feeling a light desert storm.

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Khazali Canyon was our next destination. This place is famous for some inscriptions on the stones believed to have been made by early dwellers.

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The canyon, though small, is very dramatic and the sunlight creates a beautiful show of colours.

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The next destination was Um Froth rock bridge. It is a naturally formed rock bridge where visitors climb up the rocks and get their pictures taken while standing on the hanging bridge.

Having visited the Azure Window in Malta couple of years back, and having seen it’s destruction few months later, we didn’t want the same to happen to this one. Although the destruction in Malta was caused by natural causes, the torture taken by these structures from hundreds and thousands of tourists everyday definitely adds something towards their gradual downfall. Natural cause or not, we didn’t want to be a part of it when it happened so we were content with our pictures under it as we did in Malta too.

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It was time for our lunch with Olives, local cheese, vegetarian curry and bread. Sometimes the simplest of food can taste extraordinary to the hungry and tired human.

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After lunch we headed to Lawrence house and spent some time there. All the while, the storm had been gaining some strength around us and we were feeling it’s effect more and more.

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Next, it was time for some adventurous hiking in Burrah canyon. The trail wasn’t too long but was quite interesting with a fair amount of body movements to be performed.

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Towards the end of our tour, we were taken to one of the best view points in the desert. The panoramic view in front of us seemed exactly like the alien planets that we usually watch in the movies. By this time the storm was quite strong and we were completely covered in sand but our enthusiasm knew no bounds.

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Finally, we reached our camp and were truly surprised by the wonderful arrangements that awaited us. The permanent tents were strongly built with lights and power sockets.

The day was extremely hot and we didn’t understand what those fur blankets in our tents would be used for. We got the answer after the sunset. As soon as the sun was down, it got extremely cold which turned to freezing at night. Anything less than those heavy blankets wouldn’t be enough.

The toilets and washrooms were some of the cleanest and best maintained that I have ever seen. We were worried about how our stay was going to be at the camp but now we didn’t want to leave.

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At night, after a wonderful dinner, we were treated to some bedouin music by the staff along with continuous refill of tea. After a while, guests started retreating to their tents and we too decided to call it a day after the whole day’s exhaustion.

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Day 2

The next day, it was time for our camel ride. We had a camel for each of us and our very young guide with his own camel. We stuffed our packed lunch into our bag and started on our ride towards the white desert.

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Usually the camel ride is done between the tourist points, but as we had already completed them the previous day, we set out on a different route and got to see some more beautiful places in the open desert.

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After 5 hours of camel ride (of course there were breaks in between), our bums were sore and we wanted to be done as soon as possible.

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Finally, our camp was in sight and we heaved a sigh of relief. After spending another night with wonderful food, music and sleep we set out the next day to Aqaba for our dives.

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