Wadi Rum

After a couple of days snorkelling at the Gulf of Aqaba, we started to explore Jordan, by visiting the famous Wadi Rum. We were curious, if after all the spectacular landscape in Saudi Arabia, we would be impressed by another desert landscape.

We first stopped at the train station, which had a supposedly authentic Hijaz Railway steam train parked there, which is still used for tourists.

7 Pillars of Wisdom (named by Lawrence of Arabia)
Wadi Rum village

First we stopped at the visitor centre, where we got a ticket, which was included in our Jordan pass, and paid only 5 Dinar for our car. Then we passed Wadi Rum village and were finally in the desert again.

Our first destination was Siq al Khazali, a small canyon, which was an important place for Bedouins, where water gathers from the mountain.

Interesting engravings decorate the walls of the canyon

As Wadi Rum is a very touristic place, at every sight you get some tea and souvenirs, often a strange selection.

The camels are obviously better equipped for the soft sand than we are. We tried to tackle Wadi Rum with normal tyre pressure, which had an end, when we reached deep sand. Some shovelling and of reducing the pressure, and we were on the way again. The rangers and pickup drivers were very kind and asked if we needed help and even showed us the best track to get to our next destination.

Lawrence of Arabia’s house
Musroom rock
Parking for the Night

In the late afternoon, we found a place we liked and enjoyed the silence and the scenery and finally the stars above us. The next morning, we decided to hike a little bit around the rock formations behind our camper, exploring sand dunes and rock formations.

Desert melon

We left the area again, always trying to find the easiest track, but sometimes driving through deep sand nonetheless, until we reached a village and a tar road.

Our next destination was the excavation of an old town, which is not a tourist hot spot, which attracted us. The town is called Humayma and even has a visitor centre, which was closed. But there was a path leading to the ruins and even some weather-beaten explanation boards.

Ancient Hawara was a trading post in southern Jordan that was founded by the Nabataean king Aretas III in 90 BC. There are Nabataean, Roman, Byzantine and Islamic remains, including a Roman bath and fort, Byzantine churches, and a qasr, or fortified palace from the Umayyad Period. This qasr was the family residence of the Abbasids which a roughly square plan, approximately 61 by 50 m, with a recessed entrance facing east, and a large central court, one of the so-called desert castles.

We were especially impressed by the water reservoirs with arched roof and 8 metres deep.

Desert flower
Viewpoint without much view

On the way north, we stopped at a view point, overlooking the area of Wadi Rum, but a sandstorm made the mountains disappear in the mist.

We continued that day to famous Petra, more soon!

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