Monday, December 8
We are watching the sun slowly fade on our last night in Amman, Jordan. After scuba diving in the Red Sea, we spent 2 nights staying in a Bedouin camp with our camp hosts, Bedouin Directions!
Although we were somewhat tentative with our decision to come to Jordan based on the news from the tensions of the surrounding countries, once we arrived, we felt safe and were warmly received throughout our time in Jordan.
This was especially true with our time in the Wadi Rum desert. Mehedi, the owner, did a wonderful job of coordinating our trip. His help was crucial with finding the right bus to get from Aqaba to the village of Wadi Rum, the launching point for our trip into the desert. Of the many people we asked in Aqaba about the bus, Mehedi was the only one who had the correct information and had been able to coordinate with the bus driver to make sure we got on the right bus.
Once we arrived in the village, we were driven out on an old 4x4 Toyota Landcruiser straight into the desert. The ride itself was an adventure as we pitched left and right going through the ruttier stretches of the sandy desert road.
After about 15 minutes, we passed through a small canyon and arrived at the camp. After dropping off our gear, we had free time to roam into the desert. The following day, we were led by our guide, Ahmed, into the desert for some more adventures.
Below is a chronicle of some of our experiences:
Even though the desert gets very little rainfall, we saw many of these succulent plants throughout. We found out later that the plant is often used for medicinal purposes by the Bedouin. The bulb was surrounded by layers upon layers of dried husk in order to retain its moisture.
After about an hour and a half, we reached the arch. It sits at the top of a valley that stretches down the desert below. The sheer drop below the arch and the accompanying drop to the valley floor was dizzying. When I reached the top, the wind was blowing a good 15-20 mph. Even after all of my experiences on high places during rock climbing trips, I resorted to crawling on my hands and knees as I tried to push down that funny feeling in my stomach. I had the kids do likewise and when they got to me, I held them tight for their safety as well as my own. When Suzy finally joined us, we spent a couple of minutes trying to calm our nerves while Ahmed took photos for us.