A Day and Night in the Desert
Trip Start Sep 20, 2007
61Trip End Jan 10, 2008
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Another painfully early start (5.30 this time) to get the one and only bus at 6.30 from Petra to Wadi Rum. Wadi Rum is a notional park in the southern part of the country that is regarded as some of the most spectacular desert scenery in the Middle East.
The only way you can get around the national park is by hiring a "guide" who is pretty much just someone who drives you around in a 4-wheel drive. The cost for a 4x4 for the day was extremely expensive but luckily there were 4 other people who were also interested in doing an all day tour of the region. Everyone was also interested in staying out overnight in the desert in a Bedouin tent so that was good to hear also.
Our driver for the day ended up being no older than about 13 we concluded. We felt a bit annoyed that we were paying so much for the day for child labour - why wasn't the guy in school?! Anyway the weather was quite overcast and there was a possibility of rain also, which isn't the best weather to be enjoying the desert scenery in.
We visited numerous places around the Wadi Rum area, all of which I won't list. Our guide for the day was quite average with commentary such as "That rock over there.... it's very old." We got to our desert camp thingy quite early at about 3 in the afternoon, so it gave myself (and my Dutch friend) time to explore the surrounding countryside. The weather had cleared up by now and the scenery did indeed look truly spectacular in the afternoon light. I think I got some great photos but you will have to judge for yourself.
That night we had dinner under the light of one lantern. I am what I would call a messy eater in even perfect lighting so I was really struggling to land all the food in my mouth under next to no light. I also ended up putting the same chicken bone back into my mouth about 5 times as well. Staying out in the desert really wasn't any different to camping in Australia so it wasn't too much of a novelty for me, but I can see how much of a great experience it would be for many Europeans
Unfortunately one of the other guys sleeping in the tent was a prolific snorer, probably the worst I have experienced thus far. To make matters worse the silence of the desert seems to amplify the amount of noise being made. It was so bad I couldn't sleep, and putting on my mp3 player didn't help also as his snoring even penetrated that. So I pretty much got next to no sleep along with all the other people in the tent, and we had a good time bitching about him in the morning.
For those interested, my best photos from Jordan can be found here.