August 9, 2001 – Petra – Wadi Rum




We take a minibus to Wadi Rum (1.5 JD). I continue my night on the bus like everyone else. Just before the village of Wadi Rum, 2 policemen stopped us because there are 3 tourists there who want to go to Wadi Rum. I immediately recognize them, they are the French from the Cliff Hotel: Marianne, Eric and Henri.


Upon the arrival, we have to pay the entrance fee of 1 JD and we decide to make a group with these 3 French. A Bedouin, Ahmad, proposes us a tour for 15 JD each. I am really surprise because on the Lonely planet Thorn Tree and in guidebooks, it was often written that it should cost us 35 JD without negotiation. So we bargain a little bit and finally reach an agreement at 12 JD for the jeep ride and the night in the desert and tonight dinner.


We leave our bags at his home where we meet his wife and kids and Attalah, his brother in law who will be the driver and our guide for the day. So let’s go and play the new Lawrence of Arabia!!!


Before going deep in the desert, we buy some food for the lunch (Tuna, cheese, Arabic bread and of course water). It is great to be seated at the rear of the Jeep and having the sensation of wind on your face, it is not too hot and the speed eases the temperature. We visit in the lately morning some traditional sites such as the Lawrence spring (in concrete now!!) with an acacia tree alone in the middle of nowhere, some palm trees are stuck in the rocks. The view is fantastic.


Wadi Rum




We follow the tour by a visit of Khazali canyon where you can find rupestral drawings from the Nabatean period.


Wadi Rum : Nabatean drawings


Attalah drives us to see 2 arches: a small one and a bigger one that we climb to view the landscape from the top.


Wadi Rum : A natural arch


In the early afternoon, we stop in the shadow of a big rock to have lunch. Our driver, Attalah, will prepare some tea. We also take advantage of the shadow to have a break and sleep a little or walk around for some of us.


Attala, our tea specialist, the chef


At 4pm, we resume the adventure with new drawings on the rocks and the house of Lawrence that looks more like a kind of wall and not really a house. Here comes the unexpected attraction of the tour, a vehicle is trapped in the sand in front of us. Attalah asks us if we want to help him. Of course we want, we are in the desert. For us it is like being on the Paris Dakar rally and we act quickly to get away sand from the wheels and shake the vehicle to stabilize the ground. After a few attempts, the car is safe.


Then Attalah drives us to a wonderful dune made of red sand. We go to the top and start playing til the bottom of the dune.


Wadi Rum : Red sand dune


Finally we arrive on the location where we will see the sunset and also sleep under the stars. We rapidly climb a rock to better observe the sun and the surroundings. It’s a magical moment. We stay nearly one hour after the sun disappeared whispering and admiring the night coming there.


Wadi Rum : Sunset in the desert


It is a little bit hard to go down because the night comes quickly but we finally manage. At the camp, all the Ahmad family is here, his wife makes some tea and we start talking as usual. Ahmad is in the tourist industry for the while, he tells us story of Wadi Rum and Jordan. It is so pleasant to be here. From time to time I look at the sky, which is really beautiful with nearly no light to disturb the viewing. We try to find all the known constellations. It would be better after the lunch when all light will disappear.


The dinner is really good, it is a chicken barbecue with some tomatoes and some bread.


At midnight, we set up mattresses on the sand to take advantage of the sky and the soft temperature before falling asleep our mind in the stars.





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