Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Jordan:The Blog -- Day Nine (Part 2)

After we left Petra, it was time to continue on to Wadi Rum, the desert made famous by Lawrence of Arabia.

We were picked up by our guide (whose name I could never quite get) in a beat up old Jeep with doors that didn’t close right and an electrical system that shorted out quite frequently. It was perfect for the journey we were about to embark on. Already in the Jeep were our traveling companions, a mother and 20-something daughter from Germany.

We stayed on the paved road for a bit, and then cut off across the wide expanse of desert. Here we were all alone, circling the Wadi Rum protected area which we will visit tomorrow. The mountains – rock formations rising from the sand – were astounding, and changed dramatically as we drove around them, as did the sand, going from a light tan to a vibrant red. The jeep became stuck in the sand several times but somehow always made it out.

About an hour into the drive, we made our first stop, gathering dried twigs to make a small fire. Our guide brought out an old copper pot and we drank sweet tea while surveying our surroundings. We stopped a second time at sunset, truly in the middle of nowhere, and sat on the sand to watch the sun disappear over the mountains.

A short time later we arrived at our destination, a tented camp on the outskirts of the protected area. There we were greeted by 6 other travelers – a couple originally from France but working in London, and four Hungarians who had driven to Jordan from Budapest through Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Syria – now *that’s* a road trip. After a dinner of salads and grilled chicken and conversation, we called it a night, an end to a perfect day.