Wadi Rum Travel Blog› entry 54 of 80 › view all entries
I think that one of the best things to do in the desert is to watch the sunset, so we arrange to spend two nights in the desert at Wadi Rum. Rum is famous from the book The Seven Pillars of Wisdom and the film Lawrence of Arabia, and I recall Lawrence writing about the "grandeur of Rum", but my experience of deserts has been of places that impress from their scale and feeling of emptiness so "grandeur" seems an unusual description. It will be interesting to see what it is like.
As is the way in Jordan (we are now getting used to this) our hotel owner in Petra is keen to arrange our onward arrangements and as we trust him and he offers what seems like a reasonable deal we agree to his proposed plans.
We leave early and are driven in a Nissan 4WD from Petra to the local town just north of the Rum National Park. The journey is a scenic desert drive with frequent stops to see some of the highlights of the area. Along the way we stop to search for the red mineral used by bedouin women as make-up and the turquoise stones used in jewellery, we drive up sand dunes, see the location used for the Lawrence of Arabia film, pass a current film set, look at ancient figures drawn on the rock faces and are shown ancient maps that have been carved into natural table tops at strategic places. Throughout the morning we are stunned by the magnificent desert scenery quite unlike anything I have seen before.
Our stop for the night is a tented camp just outside the town.
In the morning we are collected by another guide who drives us to Rum National park entrance and on to Rum village. After some negotiation about options for the day we take another desert drive this time through the park area, stopping for lunch at Lawrence's house - just a ruin these days - where spent just a few nights.
We stop to take a few short walks and for tea several times at the local camps that are scattered about the park. We end up at a desert camp nestled under the cliff face where we spend the night.