The other day I was back in and all I can say is wow, what a place… It’s one of those areas so vast that you can visit it countless times and always be in utter amazement. It’s utterly massive and never ending, good thing we went with some Bedouin guides as getting lost there would be as easy as finding hummus at a buffet anywhere in Jordan. We arrived near noon and immediately ditched our van and traded it for a truck which took us into the desert to a Bedouin families home.
Once we arrived we were greeted by our hospitable hosts and began drinking lots of tea, as you do in Wadi Rum and most certainly when in the company of Bedouin people from my experience. After hanging out for a bit and sharing stories we all enjoyed some which is the national dish of Jordan. From what I heard on , it’s almost always done with lamb but chicken is acceptable as well. We had a chicken Mansaf and it was quite the treat.
You all sit around and eat with your right hand. Obviously you wash your hands first and everyone has their section to avoid people putting their hands in the meals of others. You take some rice and some meat and roll it into a ball in your hand before inserting it in your mouth with your thumb. By doing this you avoid putting your fingers in your mouth which are then going back into the dish; a precaution on top of the whole staying to your own section. I really enjoyed the experience.
For dessert we made our way into the desert to start doing some exploring. Myself and some friends rode a camel briefly and climbed some rocks to check out the views from a different perspective. We also stopped at different landmarks like this one rock that looks like a boat and even saw an old school settlement or sorts where the original people who lived in the area used to inhabit. It was basically a small room carved into the stone with a well not far from there. The well went down 10m and had a system of collecting water from the area during flash floods; quite innovative.
We continued to drive and just enjoy the scenery. It’s one of those places that feels other worldly just being there so whatever you end up doing with your guide will be memorable in itself. Personally, I just liked staring out the window in a zen like state in awe at the surroundings. The typical mountains in Wadi Rum are somewhat purplish and not sure if my camera captured it well but that’s the case. Following that we made our way to a sunset spot.
Myself and friends climbed to the top of this big rock and just sat there as the sun set on the horizon. It was so peaceful and I will note that it’s quite warm during the day but when the sun drops so does the temperature. We made our way to the afterwards which was a short drive away and enjoyed some which is a local dish cooked entirely underground for several hours. It had lamb, chicken, lots of vegetables and of course rice; it was delicious and accompanied by lots of salads really hit the spot. Yes, I had seconds.
To end off the day, myself and friends sat under the starts for a while telling stories and sharing laughs while enjoying the moment. If you do go, make sure you take some time to really just sit there and let it soak in that you’re in Wadi Rum. You can sit around a camp fire and stare at the stars from lots of places in the world but Wadi Rum is one of those where you’ll see every start and even stars between the stars you didn’t know existed; it’s peaceful and a very special spot.
I will also note that if the local gents start dancing after dinner, don’t be scared to join in. I hopped in for what I thought was a minute and then next thing I knew, I was in the mix. At one point I tried to leave but the gent holding my hand looked at me as though I was crazy, “How can you leave half way through?!” So I continued and next thing you know, other gents joined me and the dance lasted ~15 minute or so. I think I gave a good effort but am very far from mastering the moves; that said it was the spirit of it all which was most important and everyone left smiling after shaking hands.
This was my second visit and would gladly go back in a heartbeat.
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