March 27,2016: I was very excited about the whole jeep tour with 4 Swedish girls I had just met (who were so nomadic and hence so fun to be with) and our Bedouin jeep guide and driver Metab (very young and kind bedouin of 20 years old)! But hold on, did we just go inside the jeep and start driving? HELL NO! We put a mattress on the roof of the jeep and sat on it getting ready to venture Wadi Rum in the most adventurous way!
Jeep Ride in Wadi Rum: It was a terrific start to the trip and once we entered the desert, it left me spell bound! I cannot describe in words how amazing the colors were and I have not seen a landscape like that before. I can say closest I could relate it to was the Grand Canyon I have been in Arizona, but again, nowhere close to it after all.
Where was I? Was this really a part of our beautiful planet or am I transported to Mars? It was a very unique terrain with a lunar-like landscape that I haven’t encountered before and hence I still call my first foot-steps in Wadi Rum as my “Moon landing in Wadi Rum”! 😉
Metab was very flexible with us and was ready to drive us anywhere we wanted. Our first stop was a huge sand dune which we climbed (partially) and enjoyed terrific views! In the picture above is Mount Rum which is around 1700m tall and also known as “seven pillars of wisdom” by the locals due to its terrific shape! After taking a few photos, we started exploring more and I (obviously being the most petite traveler in the group :P) lied down on the mattress of our jeep to experience the winds and the sun on my face while looking at the blue sky with beautiful clouds up above me.
Usually the desert gets very hot during the day, but luckily we didn’t feel the heat much due to the rainfall last night in Wadi Rum. We rarely encountered any other tourist jeep in the desert apart and we were completely be cut-off the civilization. I watched the shadow of our jeep (carrying 5 nomadic girls on top) project upon the facades of the red mountains. It was beautiful and I totally love this picture (below)!
After this, we saw many natural rock bridges and stopped at the biggest arch (Jabal Umm Fruth) in Wadi Rum because the girls wanted to climb it! It was so so beautiful and a great experience for sure.
By this time, the sun was slowly going down and I could definitely start feeling the wind chill! Before climbing the jeep, I made sure to put on 2 sweaters on me (yes, deserts gets really cold in the nights) and Metab drove us to a gorge where we could see the lovely sunset! Sunset was breathtaking as I kept watching how the setting sun made a painter’s palate of the dramatic landscape.
Sleeping under the stars in Wadi Rum: After watching the sun go down, we started driving around to check for a spot where we could sleep in the night. We didn’t get tents or camps, but we decided to just lie over a mattress and enjoy the infinite tranquility that Wadi Rum had in offer under the dark blue sky filled with millions of stars! After searching for 30 minutes, we finally found a narrow gorge where Metab parked his car and we pulled off the mattresses and blankets to arrange for the night. Metab put on the camp fire to make the place warm and made us amazing herbal Jordanian tea. He then started cooking vegetarian dinner for us and meanwhile I put on all the (somewhat) warm clothes I had in my backpack to keep myself warm.
The desert looked majestic and when I looked up above in the sky, I could see thousands and thousands of stars! I had never seen something close to this in my life and being cut-off from the world with no phone connection made the experience more surreal! By this time, Metab finished cooking and dinner was ready. It was very dark in the desert and thankfully I had my headlight (thanks to a friend back in Amsterdam) to refrain myself from being blind. Metab started playing his “luke” (traditional Jordanian string instrument) and meanwhile we enjoyed the delicious meal he had cooked for us.
Shooting stars and the Milky way sighting in Wadi Rum: After we finished eating, Metab left us (5 girls) and went back to the Bedouin village. So here we were in a deserted land with just nobody around us! The feeling was terrific and you have to do it to know how exactly I felt in that moment. We all lied down trying to get sleep as we had a pretty tiring day. It was when I lied down, I started wondering how beautiful our planet Earth is and how we keep worrying about things which actually shouldn’t matter to us so much! I had sightings of the milky way above in the sky and counted 7 fallen stars before my eyes closed at some point and I fell asleep! I have two pictures of how the sky looked and trust me, its no where close to what I saw and experienced!
Want to know if I survived the night safely in Wadi Rum? Then read my next post here: Jordan Chronicles 7: Wadi Rum (hiking in the desert), Day 4
Missed my previous post on how I arrived in Wadi Rum on a local bus? It’s here: Jordan Chronicles 5: Wadi Rum (arriving) Day 1