Heading into the desert in a 4×4
After an amazing few days in Amman and the Dead Sea, we jumped on the bus and headed right down the centre of Jordan, through miles and miles of desert for a night under the stars, camping at Wadi Rum. Meaning ‘Valley of the Moon’, the landscape is nothing like I’ve seen before, the majestic desert spans as far as the eye can see, with a dusty, hot haze. We got as far as the bus could take us and had to change into off-road 4×4’s that could handle the desert terrain.
After a bumpy ride (of which our driver let Vee drive for a bit… yep, I was terrified) we hurtled down sand dunes like we were on a rollercoaster. Our first stop was this amazing lookout point across Wadi Rum. The sun was setting so we gathered on the rocks for some photos and watched the huge orange sun set and the sand change colour from bright orange through to pink as the sun dipped. It was such a magical experience.
On our way to the Bedouin Camp
Hussein our driver, as the sun sets
After a beautiful sunset we were off to our camp for the night to sleep in a traditional Bedouin tent. We arrived after dark and were greeted by the locals, who had already set up our main tent, the campfire and had our dinner ready. That’s what I call camping! The temperature dropped suddenly so we huddled round the campfire, telling stories into the evening. We also had a little bit of fun as Hussein our driver insisted I dressed up in local dress, so enjoy the picture below – me as a Bedouin woman. I might take some style tips from the experience as the dress was pretty damn comfy!
Our dinner was traditional Bedouin meal, cooked for 3 hours underneath the sand. I was really touched as they’d made a special vegetarian option as well, plus some amazing roasted potatoes – all cooked underground, pretty talented! With humous, tabboleh, flat bread and bakclava for pudding we had such a feast! Our tent was a long communal tent with about 15 beds, after a long day we all headed to bed, sleeping bags all in a long line and fell asleep with a view of the stars. During the night I awoke to some strange noises, which I found out the next morning were desert foxes – I was too scared to find out in the night!
Me in traditional dress / Our sleeping bags all in a row / Stories around the campfire
The next morning we woke early to the sound of camels arriving – they make some strange noises! Instead of 4×4’s we were going to ride two hours across the desert by camel in a long caravan – the traditional way. I was slightly apprehensive, camels seem a bit grumpy and unpredictable. But after a slightly scary lift-off (anyone who’s ever been on a camel when it stands up will understand, it’s so weird) we were off for a long ride across the magical landscape.
Our camels in the morning sun
Camels eye view
My camel led the way, I was later told it’s a trained ‘racing camel’
Tips for visiting Wadi Rum
- Pack layers, it’s hot during the day but gets quite chilly at night so make sure you pack a thick jumper/trousers and even a jacket if you are staying overnight.
- Bring lots of drinking water. There is no running water, so you need enough with you to drink, brush your teeth and wash your hands.
- Use facewipes! As there is no running water, facewipes are a must.
- Wear thick trousers for camel riding – not only will it be more comfortable but they often carry fleas and other things that aggravate your skin (we speak from experience!) Lovely – I know.
- Bring a sleeping bag liner. We were provided with sleeping bags that seemed lovely and clean, but you never know how clean they really are, so buy your own liner from any camping shop and take it with you.
Hope you enjoyed this instalment of my travel diaries, next time I’ll be writing about the AMAZING Petra, stay tuned!