Wadi Rum or Valley of the Moon is a beautiful desert valley in southern Jordan. We spent the night at a Bedouin camp and then took a jeep tour to see the sights the following day.
Bedouins, a semi-nomadic people, have historically inhabited the Arabian and Syrian deserts. Today there are still Bedouins who set up movable camps throughout the desert. But now they tote cell phones. A perfect cross of old and new.
Below are some pictures of our time if you'd like to take a look. :)
Each couple (or couple of people) is assigned a tent. Inside is a bed with a pillow and blankets.
The stone building at the end had flushing toilets and showers.
So... it's camping, but more like glamping.
It cooked all day buried underneath the sand. It was pulled out of the sand ceremoniously and the cook received a nice round of applause. :)
Because how often does your dinner emerge from the ground?
What you don't see is the 20+ cats that circled us while we ate.
It was terrifying.
A Japanese tour group was part of our camp and their familiarity with each other made the evening a lot more fun.
We also met a Swedish couple and a traveler from Australia and stayed up late into the evening swapping travel stories. If there is anything we have learned it is that there is always someone more well traveled than you.
Our wonderful driver was a Bedouin who chain smoked incessantly.
Born in a Bedouin camp in the desert, he tried city life in Amman and found that it didn't suit him. So he came back to Wadi Rum and works as a tour guide.
In addition to being a great guide, he remedied my upset stomach with some thyme tea at his friend's Bedouin camp. An hour later when my stomach grumble shook the earth (it was that loud), he exclaimed, "the tea is working!" He was right! I did feel better. :)
LogisticsPublic transportation is inconvenient and hard to use for tourists. If you are crunched on time, your best bet is to hire a driver or rent a car. We chose to hire a driver. Our driver, Mikled, was fantastic. He was funny, lighthearted and an honest guy.
He was friends with the owner of our Bedouin camp, so let Attallah know when you book that you need transportation (and ask for Mikled). Travel from the Dead Sea to Wadi Rum, via Mt Nebo and Madaba was 100 JD. He even offered to drive us to Petra and then back to Amman for an additional 100 JD, which is a steal! He figured, I'm already driving back to Amman, I might as well take you back and gave us a discount. He even offered us a room at his home if we didn't already have a hotel.
Arriving at Wadi RumYou arrive to a small town just inside of the Wadi Rum visitors center. The town is a little sad and amenities are nonexistent. You can either book with a camp there but we preferred booking ahead of time.
If you choose to drive, parking is available at the entrance.
Bedouin Lifestyle CampWe really enjoyed Attallah's camp. The lodging was clean (for the desert) and the food was delicious.
The tour was thorough enough- we never felt rushed. The jeep (truck) had covering, and many of the other tours we saw did not. In the hot desert sun, you need that respite.
Also, they allowed us to take our tour the following morning, when they typically offer their tours before the overnight stay. Attallah was flexible and easy to work with.