Weekend #2 in Jordan was a road trip to the Wadi Rum desert. It was my first time renting and driving a car in a foreign country, but it had to be done as there is no easy way to get to Wadi Rum from the capital.
The best part of traveling by car is being able to make stops along the way. Our first stop was the city of Karak — worthy of a visit if only to see its 12th century crusader castle. Once inside the castle walls we were left to our own devices to explore the dark passageways by flashlight and climb up the walls for a sweeping view of the valley below (and a perfect spot for a picnic).
From Karak we continued along the King’s Highway to the Dana Biosphere Reserve, Jordan’s largest nature reserve. As we were hoping to reach the desert by sunset we didn’t have time to fully enjoy Dana, but we were able to take a short trail through the village and terraced gardens.
We reached the entrance to Wadi Rum around 5 pm and were transported by jeep to the Bedouin Meditation Camp. Our camp was made up of goat-hair tents tucked beneath sandstone rock formations overlooking the unceasing desert landscape. We watched the sunset, had dinner, then spent the rest of the evening underneath the stars conversing with fellow campers, sipping Bedouin whisky (tea) and searching the sky for constellations.
The next morning I was up early to catch the sunrise and eat a full breakfast. We were then taken on a jeep tour to see Umm Fruth Rock Bridge, Lawrence’s House, Lawrence’s Spring and some Nebataean inscriptions. Mid-way through our tour we stopped at a large dune to try out a new sport, sand-boarding.
We had such a great time that plans are in the works for a return to the desert, this time to sand-board by moonlight.