Wadi Rum

Posted on Friday 27 April 2007

Wadi Rum is a desert area in Jordan. It is where Lawrence of Arabia lived/hid and built a following that he then led during the Arab Revolt. [The Arabs dispute many of Lawrence's later writings and the degree to which he claims to have been responsible for their success. Anyway...]

It is a rather beautiful area. Full of sandstone carved by wind and flood waters. Some very early signs of civilization [rock carving] are readily visible almost anywhere you look.

I found the area interesting, but I was still awe-struck by Petra when we visited Wadi Rum. If I had to do it over, or if someone asked my opinion, I would go to Wadi Rum first, then Petra.

We stayed 2 nights in a camp in Wadi Rum and did a 4×4 drive and a camel trek.


Ok, so maybe that is stretching it a bit.

To get on a camel, the camel tender/herder gets the camel to lay down, you climb on, and the camel stands up.

My camel decided to stand up while I only had one leg over. I fell off, and then the camel rolled over on top of my leg. No big deal. Except that I landed on my camera and managed to COVER it in find red sand. It still makes a grating noise when I turn the manual focus ring. I have a feeling that this is going to turn out to be a very expensive camel ride.

So, I got back on the damn beast. [Honestly, if I had been alone I probably would have paid the camel driver and sent him on his way. But I had witnesses]

Got back on and went for a relatively pleasant stroll through the desert. It took me about an hour to get over the anger and embarrasment of being pitched off the beast.

I was starting to enjoy it and get into the rythym of it when we stopped to water the camels.

To get water, they had to walk up to this trough that was in the wedge of rock. We were still on the camels. My camel decided to bump with another camel and fight for space at the trough. He managed to bump me into the rocks several times during this. And I had to lean over sideways to avoid having my head BASHED INTO THE ROCKS.

A good friend of mine wants to cook and eat a llama, because one tried to push him off a cliff in Peru many years ago. He says “It’s personal!”.

I understand now. I plan to return and our guide says he will give me lessons on preparing camel…

Some photos

3 Comments for 'Wadi Rum'

    April 28, 2007 | 3:46 am

    (that’s a human snort, not a camel snort)
    so let us know how camel tastes and if you BBQ or roast it. : )

    Rob S
    April 28, 2007 | 4:38 am

    Nice photos, Jack. You have a nack for the low-angle light and shadow shots.
    I see that this guide and a few others in your journeys are wearing unbifurcated garments ;-)
    They sure do look comfy, don’t they, nice and airy… Methinks a utilikilt would be just the
    thing for the desert.

    May 11, 2007 | 8:55 pm

    [...] Wadi Rum is also where I took my first camel ride with my friends and travel companions J & K (you can see J’s photo of me on camel back, here. I’ll share video soon.). It’s also where J’s camel tried to kill him… but you can hear that story straight from the, er, horse’s mouth, and get some pointers from a commenter on his blog on potential menswear for the desert. The camel took some getting used to, but you eventually get the hang of it and you know where to put your butt and legs for optimum comfort. We didn’t see much on the ride, but got to listen as the older of the two boys guided us, quizzed the younger with school lessons as they walked in front of the beasts with the leads in their hands. They stopped at a spring to water the animals (and for one to take the opportunity to try and scrape J off his back). As we neared the camp, we saw other camels standing in the desert, grazing on the occasional vegetation. The females were apparently in heat and the herders had put on some kind of chastity chaps — a leather apron over their backsides with a hole for their tales — to keep the males from, um, accomplishing anything. But the boys got nervous when the males saw the females, so they suggested we get off the camels and walk the 100 yards to the camp. Male camels in rut are known to be aggressive and umpredictable. Not unlike males of another species I’m familiar with. [...]

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