Shannon found a Jeep tour with camel ride, sand boarding and Bedouin overnight online through Bedouin Lifestyle Camp. It was a bit pricey at 80 JD per person but it is something we both really wanted to do. We loaded into an Aqaba taxi at 7:30 am and one hour later and 15JD we arrived at Wadi Rum Village. At 10:00 we climbed in the back of an old Toyota Landcruser truck along with some new Belgium friends, Eli and Anneleen, where we were all keen to explore Wadi Rum. Wadi Rum is a protected area in the south of Jordan with amazing views of sandstone and granite mountains. It was made famous in Lawrence of Arabia but has also been featured in movies like Transformers, Star Wars and The Martian.
Within 10 minutes of trading the pavement for red sand we made our first stop at Lawrence Springs. At the base of the mountain was a water trough for the camels and we spent the next 20 minutes scrambling up the bolder field towards the source of the springs.
Back at the truck we woke our guide and headed further into the park. Stopping now at Khazali Siq which is a tall and narrow canyon you can walk into with ancient petroglyphs on display.
200m from here was a rocky outcrop that over the years now has a large collection of red sand build up on the one side. We slugged our way to the view point up top them and then Eli and I took the boards down the dune to the bottom.
It was now time for a little lunch break. The guide had a perfect place in mind but the sand was a bit much for the one wheel wheel drive truck with bald tires. Nearly 45 mins of digging later the guide took off on foot and after 60 mins he was back with a second truck and some doubled up twine to pull us out. Lunch was cooked over an open fire with traditional Bedouin mix of veggies and spices on the menu. Back in the truck we bounced around to a natural rock bridge then over to the Barrah Canyon. This was a natural gap between two peaks where you walk the 25 mins through to the other side. The canyon walls were steep and lined with dramatic colours and texture, sort of like a walk through museum of dramatic nature. Once in the truck on the other side we toured to a second and much larger natural bridge. We took a short joint past a wind sculpted rock that resembled a chicken then parked on top of a sand hill to watch the sun set over the Saudi Arabian mountains with a desert fire burning for warmth. A 10 minute drive had us at our Bedouin camp for the night, with hard walled tents with proper beds and communal flush toilets and showers. Up at the dinning room we were joined by 15 or so there for a traditional feast of slow roasted chicken and veggies that were buried with coals under the sand for a couple hours.
This was followed by traditional music and dancing along with tea. The moonless night made for a dramatic display of evening stars and once tucked into our 4 blankets we slept for the night. Once the sun rose we headed back to Wadi Village and proceeded on to the next set of adventures. After having a small talk with the tour company our end price was adjusted to just 60JD per person due to the lack of a camel ride, others joining the truck and our guide just basically being a driver.
The 4 of us were now loaded onto a bus and driving the 2.5 hours north east to a little town called Wadi Musa, better know for the starting grounds into the ancient city of Petra.