Described as ‘Vast and echoing and god-like’ by T.E. Lawrence in his famed 7 Pillars of Wisdom, rarely does a visitor leave unawed and uninspired by this moonscape. In fact the only regret of this writer is that he did not have enough time to spend the night in this “magically haunted” moonscape – vowing to come back one day with his family to take a 2 day camel caravan to fully drink in its arid beauty.
That’s what I wrote last November in my post ‘Wadi Rum: vast and echoing and god-like, magically haunted.’ I meant every word of it.
Which is why I enjoyed these to posts on the same – first from Whiskey Tango Farley – call letters to an acronym which I’ll let someone else explain in some other context.
Which is also why we read Alden Pyle’s post “Aqaba, Wadi Rum, Dana, Dead Sea, oh my!” he was citing … and shouting … from the 1962 film classic as follows:
Hike up to above the Treasury (aka the Indiana Jones building) for some stunning Alpha-Male poses. Pictures to be sent very soon, Inshallah! Then drive “TO AQABA!” (If you haven’t seen Lawrance of Arabia, you might not understand the hilarity of screaming that quote every 15 minutes so or in the little POS Hyundai Alden rented…)
And probably shouting something a little bit different after a tussle with an ATV he describes:
Then- To Wadi Rum! This was Lawrence of Arabia’s hide-out during the Arab Revolt. Stunning place. Alden and Mother found housing at “Beit Ali” and promtly rented ATVs to go dune bashing for a couple of hours.
Lesson learned: If you are going too fast on an ATV (Alden discovered they top out at nearly 60 mph) and you find yourself nearing a dune’s drop-off of unknown height, don’t go down it. But should you fly off a dune at a very fast speed, make sure you are able to roll faster than the ATV.
I’ll take the advice, if I can ever get back there … though I hadn’t thought of an ATV … but I digress
JJ from NJ offers a slightly different account entitled “Wadi Rum and Petra!” that yet again the famous Jordanian hospitality; yet again via a taxi driver:
Patrick and I hired a taxi driver named Moosa to take us from Aqaba to Wadi Rum. He was a really nice guy, but a bit too talkative at times. He took us to his brother’s restaurant for breakfast and we ate virtually for free.
The drive to Wadi Rum was great. It was through the desert and very scenic. Once we arrived in Wadi Rum, we went into town and Moosa dropped us off at our guide’s house. We then met a Swiss brother/sister duo and they joined us for our night into the desert.
Then after describing a somewhat terrifying evening abseiling adventure, JJ describes something I experienced my first trip to Jordan – an amazing view of our solar system from the lightless desert floor.
We decided not to sleep in the tent and so we dragged our mattresses outside and slept under the stars. Apparently there are rather large spiders and snakes that wander around but we didn’t see any. Sleeping out there was beyond awesome, but there was no chance of sleeping through the sunrise and the swarms of flies that accompanied it.
Funny, on the plane over to Jordan this last time, I encountered two young Jordanian men living in the U.S., heading back for a wedding. I asked them if they’d ever been to Wadi Rum. They hadn’t. My response was simply: