Another morning began before 0600, today we were getting a bus to Wadi Rum at 0620. We briefly used the WiFi before jumping on board and joining half a dozen other tourists heading to the land of T.E. Lawrence of Lawrence of Arabia fame.
On the 2 hour journey we organised a trip round Wadi Rum with the bus guide, we were planning on organising one when we arrived but the price of what he was offering was reasonable and it was a lot less hassle. On arrival to the park we had to pay 5JD (roughly £5) for entrance.
One other person, a French girl called Anice joined us for the trip. The three of us were to be driven by Mohammed in a clapped out Jeep Cherokee, it took about 15 attempts to start, none of the electrics, other than the radio, worked and two of the doors were impossible to open other than that we were filled with confidence.
We drove through Rum village and straight onto the red sand desert where after about 10 minutes we stopped near Lawrence Spring. A spring used by the Bedouin for centuries and also used by T.E. Lawrence during the Arab Revolt in World War 1. The indicator that there was a spring was a large fig tree about 100m up the cliff. It was hot work to get up to it but it afforded excellent views across the Wadi.
Our next adventure was climbing a huge red sand dune but just prior to that we had seen some 2000 year old Bedouin engravings of camels on a rock wall, it was impressive to see them in such a well preserved condition after so many years. Climbing up the sand dune was again a tiring effort walking up as each step you slid halfway back down again. The view from the top was worth it though and running back down was great fun although our shoes did fill with sand.
We saw some more carvings before visiting a Bedouin house where T.E. Lawrence had allegedly stayed in 1916. Not that impressive and I’m slightly dubious he ever stayed there anyway as he didn’t mention it once in the 650 pages of 7 Pillars of Wisdom.
We had lunch on a shaded rock ledge, looking across one of the Wadis before going to an impressive rock arch which we climbed up.
We finished our day relatively early and were taken to the campsite we were staying at that evening. There was another rock ledge here in the shade which had a nice breeze blowing across it where the three of us chilled and read away the rest of the afternoon, I finished 7 Pillars of Wisdom and decided to leave it at the campsite for another traveller to read. Dinner was in a communal building where everyone sat in the floor eating of low tables, it was a traditional fair of flat bread, rice, chicken potatoes and stew vegetables. Our tent was actually a small hut with two beds in with a large window you could look out at the stars from.