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.

wadi moon66

There is very little light pollution at Wadi Rum; night time is magical.

wadi night really great

Sun rise is no less of a treat.

wadi sunrise

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 joy of 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.

joe's photo of jackie

Another use for a truck…shade.

sade truck

These vehicles are also handy for getting the curious traveler closer to interesting rock formations…

rocks at wadi

and most importantly, for making cool tracks all over the desert.

wadi tracks55

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 …

bed tent corrected

Find a comfy seat, and sit down…

jackie in tent

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.

jackies good fortune

What a wonderful junket!!!!!

Love, The Unseasoned Traveler

27 thoughts on “A Night And A Day On Mars or How I Found Happiness In The Desert!

  1. Reading this blog post is a fabulous escape from our present circumstances! Thanks, Jackie

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Your blog captures the Wadi like a “seasoned traveler.” Thanks for the vivid descriptions

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi….glad you were engaged away from present circumstances for a while…j.


  2. The expression, “How’re you going to keep them down on the farm after they’ve seen Paree?” comes to mind. I know you are a deeper, richer version of your true self as a world traveler. . . We’re not in Metz anymore, are we, Toto?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No, we are not there anymore, for sure…but where and WHEN can I go next…luckily, I have yet to publish the Egypt blogs…thanks for following….j.


  3. Yet another great post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My pleasure, Bruce. Thanks for traveling with me.


  4. Rich Blish ... husband to Marian Devine April 19, 2020 — 5:17 pm

    Jackie, Such a delight to see your clear pictures and poetic prose. The interior furnishings of the Bedouin tent reminded me of Marrakech, Morocco. You would enjoy it (perhaps already). I particularly liked Moorish architecture, all shapes and colors, but images of people and animals forbidden by Islam. I decided after the fact why this architecture appeals to me so much, as I used crystallography in my early scientific career. Rich

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Rich…I want to go to Morocco…tomorrow…thanks for following


    2. Rich…what is crystallography?


    3. Rich….just checking up on you and your bride….you two are about to have an anniversary soon, if memory serves me….just think about how you celebrated last year!!!! What will you do this year? Best to you both….fondly, Jackie h.


  5. Amazing trip Jackie!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good Morning, Cathy,
      Thanks for the comment…love it when you leave them.


  6. You are no longer the Unseasoned traveler. You. Are now the Seasoned Traveler.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Fabulous Girlfriend its so much fun to travel with you from afar.!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good morning…are you still awake? Thanks for the high praise.


  8. I never realized the desert is red there. My experience with the dessert is pale yellow white of the Southwest. The tallest dunes I have climbed where at Jockey’s Ridge in South Carolina. It was a long trek but worth the climb. Glad you had fun in your geodesic tent. Looked like quality digs.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It was wonderful…thanks for continuing to follow.


  9. Jackie
    Your description was so exotic and I have to say magical. I wanted to be there, to experience the mornings and sunsets. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Wow, what an exotic, interesting place. Great post Jackie, I love it!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Thom… great talking to you….electronically!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Jackie fabulous job! Sure brought back a lot of memories. It was such a pleasure to meet Bruce and you. Love Queenie

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Queenie…it was fun to meet you too. Your photos helped me quite a bit.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Amazing!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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