We depart Aqaba this morning for the Wadi Rum protected area. We change to 4WD after a couple of hours on the bus. The ride was bumpy and no real thrills other than the natural beauty of the area.
This area was created in 1998 and it covers 720 square kilometers of desert landscape from this valleys of sand and mountains of stone. Several Bedouin tribes live in and around the protect area earning most of their income from tourism.
Our first stop is to view the 7 pillars of Wisdom, then off to Lawrence's spring and to the Lawrence house. Now these are places that Lawrence of Arabia might have been or had been there at least once. So everyone loves Lawrence because he is good for tourism. But the real interest is that these areas were also very important to the ancient camel caravans. There are messages written on the rocks telling where the most recent one went so the next caravan should take another route. These messages were around the 400AD time frame. However there are Thamodian inscriptions that are very basic language and are around 30,000 years old.
The desert scene mixed
The Arab revolt flag of independance & very tall pole
with the tall mountain tops was somewhat of a surprise, because you think of the desert of only being sand. Much of the sand is a very fine red stand stone that stays on your clothes body. You can even taste it in your mouth from the occasional gust of wind.
The Kharazeh canyon is one place where the mountains and the desert truly mingle to make one unbelievable sight.
We stop at the tall natural bridge, called the Um Frouth bridge can only hold about 400KG. (880lbs) it takes being somewhat of a mountain goat to get up it and then walk out on to the slender bridge approximately the same as about4 story building. Wow what a rush to accomplish that!!
Some people chose to climb the sand dunes here in Wadi Rum, but Francine and I have done this twice now and it's no longer a big deal in fact it's darn difficult.
Our driver for the day is Sheik Said, and as passengers and camp dwellers in his camp this evening, we are all now his wives. He is looking for a wife that does not blah-blah-blah all the time. So that leaves
Francine and I out of the running.
Our drive ends at Sheik Said bedouin desert camp, where we will spend the night camped out under the stars. Our dinner is cooked in a pit dug into the sand fueled by a hot wood coals. A large double decked pan hold more than enough chicken, baked potatoes and baked onions that tasted absolutely delicious. We also had vegetable soup and rice and flat bread.
We climbed on a nearby stone hill and watched yet another nice sunset in the desert. Our third since on the trip. After dinner the bedouin men sang for us and Angie and Dave joined them with the songs.
The night sky was fantastic with so many stars and no moon until around 5:00AM so once again the Milky Way was visible and what a thrill to see it! The bedding provided gave us enough warmth to sleep well in the chilly night air of the desert.
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