Wadi Rum…a majestic landscape in Jordan

Wadi Rum…a majestic landscape in JordanWadi Rum is perhaps best known as the hangout of T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) when he made this his headquarters during the Arab Revolt in 1917 – 1918 Lawrence wrote about the monumental landscape in Seven Pillars of Wisdom in the early 20th century with a sense of awe and reverence.

The crags were capped in nest of domes, less hotly red than the body of the hill; rather grey     and shallow.  They gave the finished semblance of Byzantine architecture to this irresistible place: this processional way greater than imagination….Our little caravan grew self-conscious, and fell dead quiet, afraid and ashamed to flaunt its smallness in the presence of the stupendous hills.

Wadi Rum…a majestic landscape in JordanLocated about an hour and a half south of Petra and an hour from Aqaba it can be visited as a day trip but I recommend that you stay a night or two in the desert for a deeper appreciation. I stayed only one night but could easily have stayed one more. Sleeping in a Bedouin tent in a soundless, sand filled landscape with only the light of the moon to light the scene is a memory that I will long cherish.

Wadi Rum…a majestic landscape in JordanWadi Rum…also known as The Valley of the Moon is a landscape that may be familiar to you even if you are unaware of it…it has been used as a set for such movies as Lawrence of Arabia, Red Planet and most recently Ridley Scotts  Prometheus in 2012. Large spaces filled with red sand, towering peaks and blunted buttes offer an awe inspiring vista that must affect even the most jaded travelers.

Wadi Rum…a majestic landscape in JordanIt is everything you would expect of a quintessential desert …broiling heat in the summer and intense cold in the winter:  violent and moody the sun cuts into the valleys and siqs accenting the rock formations with deep shadows and the strong wind forms red sand into dunes at the base of stone out-cropping’s. It is almost enough to inspire me to put on flowing robes, hop on a camel and ride across the sands….almost but not quite.

Wadi Rum…a majestic landscape in JordanThere are several ways to explore the Wadi…4 wheel drive jeep, horseback or on foot with a guide. I am willing to bet it was not hard for you to figure out which way I picked…4W drive of course. No roads exist …only tracks in the sands that come and go with the winds. The ride is not smooth…sitting in the back end of an open jeep I was often bounced, bumped and thrown off my seat… but the scenery transcended all the discomfort.

Along the way we saw 3rd century BC petroglyphs carved into the rocks by the Nabataens who made this area their home and springs used for centuries by the Bedouins who heard sheep and goats in this harsh landscape.

Wadi Rum…a majestic landscape in JordanAfter a day of exploring the stone formations and valleys we headed to our Bedouin camp for the night. A group of small black wool tents around a large central tent in which we would eat and congregate.  Traditional hand woven rugs were laid over the sand and cushions with pillows lined the walls of the tent for us to relax on while Walid, our guide, made herb infused teas for us. No electricity to light the tents meant that I was scrambling to find the flashlight I always carry in order to find my bed.  Boy, it was dark.

Wadi Rum…a majestic landscape in Jordan

Walid my Bedouin guide

The next morning we had a typical breakfast of eggs, bread, fruit, tomatoes, cucumber, white cheese and tea before we rode off through the valley to the visitor center where our driver would pick us up and return us to Petra for a ride back to Amman.

Wadi Rum…a majestic landscape in JordanI loved the visit…the landscape, the Bedouins, the desert experience and would heartily recommend it to any traveler coming to the area.  Combine it with your visit to Petra and it will be a National Geographic moment for you to recount over and over for many years to come.

Now it’s back to Amman and then on to Turkey.

About Larry Bosco

In 2010 I had one of those “Is this all there is” moments and so in January 2011 I retired from Real Estate Appraising, sold off all my worldly goods and headed out as a solo traveler in search of a new place to live. Since then I’ve traveled around the world, made new friends and had many great adventures and some not so great. After staying almost a year in Cuenca, Ecuador I have headed back to South East Asia where I began the journey in 2011. Currently I am living in Chiang Mai, Thailand
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3 Responses to Wadi Rum…a majestic landscape in Jordan

  1. Ed Tohid says:

    Reading your description of Wadi Rum, brought back memories of many camping trips to deserts in UAE and parts of Rub Al Khali in Saudi. It is difficult to forget the sights and the silence of the desert. The vastness and the majesty of it has a tendency to remain with you.
    Thanks for bringing back the good memories.

  2. What, no picture of the bedouin tent? I can see you now riding off on a camel to visit distant lands…. I liked that fact that you included some descriptive text from Lawrence of Arabia. It truly looks other worldly. Thanks for being there and sharing. So…. no picture of the tent inside or out? You could include it in your gallery!

  3. ShaNoan says:

    Looks EXACTLY like parts and pieces of Utah and Arizona—also exquisitely magical, other worldly, out-of-time places where spirits tear into your dreamtime of lives long forgotten.

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