A Night And A Day On Mars or How I Found Happiness In The Desert!
Wadi Rum is almost two hundred miles southwest of Amman, Jordan, but if you look at the stars over the wadi at night and the sand dunes on the wadi during the day, Wadi Rum looks more like the planet Mars which is 153.66 million miles away from Earth. Wadi Rum looks a lot like the Red Planet. The area is vast and sandswept as far as the eye can see…and the sand is red…giving the feeling of being in the middle of a red, dry, endless world. The movie industry loves Wadi Rum and uses the site for flicks such as Lawrence of Arabia and The Martian. I love Wadi Rum because it is far, far, far away from everything; I love Wadi Rum because in its simplicity, life in the desert is very complex and nuanced; I love Wadi Rum because it is timeless, exotic, and romantic.
Arrive at Wadi Rum after the sun goes down, and you will be treated to a show put on by the moon and stars. My new buddy, Colleen Whalen, was patient enough to capture these two after dark and one dawn shot of the wadi.
There is very little light pollution at Wadi Rum; night time is magical.
Sun rise is no less of a treat.
Full daylight releases the drama of the desert.
Camping at Wadi Rum is sensational, and the accommodations can help fulfill any fantasy of being in a scifi movie….perfect for my traveling companion.
There is much to do at Wadi Rum, but before any daytime activity can be enjoyed, the correct sun protection is a total necessity. The sun on the desert is intense and unrelenting. The sun does not respect you; you must respect it. The use of sunscreen and sunglasses are a must as well as wearing protective clothing. Here’s where this Unseasoned Traveler learned the value and joyof covering one’s head…
The crown of the scarf affords protection from the sun, while the drape of the scarf can be used to cover the face and nose in case of blowing sand. It is all quite efficient and wearable. “Yalla”
When it comes to transportation, some still prefer the use of camels. Small caravans can be seen going from one camp to another.
But the age of the truck has made travel on the sand a bit easier and faster.
First stop for my truck, a giant sand dune….which I decided to climb. This was not an easy climb because I fear heights, but I did it as these photos taken by Joseph Sheidle, a new friend of mine, show.
Another use for a truck…shade.
These vehicles are also handy for getting the curious traveler closer to interesting rock formations…
and most importantly, for making cool tracks all over the desert.
The exciting work of exploring the desert calls for a bit of hospitality, and what better place to receive a warm welcome than a Bedoin tent …
Find a comfy seat, and sit down…
Prepare for the ritual of tea….
I am in love with people and places, so I smile with happiness in the offering of hospitality by another culture.