We are back to Amman after a wonderful trip to the south of Jordan that included: Petra, Wadi Rum and Aqaba. The original plan was to take our parents to Petra for three days which worked out wonderfully.
They had a great time enjoying both the wonders of this Nabatean city and the luxury of the five-star Movenpick hotel. Our time together as a family was very valuable to all of us. We will really cherish this trip forever. The kids (Amy and Jessica) also had a blast, running around the ancient monuments in the morning and playing in the pool in the evening.
On Tuesday morning, my parents along with Tania, Mark, Brigitte and the kids went back to Amman while Jeff and I took a ride the hour or so further south to Wadi Rum. The decision came on the spur of the moment, as we intended to go back with them. But since Rum is less than two hours away from Petra, we decided to spend the night there and check the place out — a first time visit for the two of us.
The spontaneity of our journey made it loads of fun. We managed to find our way there following road signs (i.e. without a map or query of the local population). When we got deep into the area, we saw some sort of rest house. A Sudanese guy named Mohammad greeted us and told us about the Jeep trips offered into the heart of the Wadi Rum desert. We ended up taking a three and a half hour trip, which included a stop to watch the sun set across the desert. It was stunning!
The place is really phenomenal with its red-orange sand dunes and craggy mountains. It is no surprise that the film Lawrence of Arabia was shot in Rum, as it really is the most magnificent and picturesque Arabian desert. We both felt what we were seeing was very surreal — the scenery was absolutely dazzling.
Our jeep driver, a local Bedouin, was very friendly and eager to show us the wonders of his home. He passionately answered all our questions including one about whether there were snakes in Rum, replying causally, "not many," before busying himself with sending text messages from his mobile phone, leaving me to ponder the gravity of his response.
After we finished our trip, we went back to the rest house, where we picked up two people (a bagpipe player and a policeman that acted as a night time security guard) who acted as our navigators to our campsite, some 20 Km from the rest house.
The camp was nice with small white tents for sleeping and a long Bedouin tent for dining and partying. Facilities were complete but they were basic just the same. We spent the night there and left the next morning after breakfast, heading for Aqaba. Camping in the desert was a new experience for the both of us and proved quite exhilarating.
We arrived in Aqaba around 10:00 am, wandered about for an hour or so, and had an early lunch at McDonald’s, which recently opened in the coastal city. The trip home to Amman was long and uneventful down the largely barren Desert Highway for nearly four hours. Now we are back home and beat! We really had a great time playing amongst the many wonders my wonderful home of Jordan offers!