|Thursday 31st May - Jordan - Aqaba
In Wadi Rum there are large Bedouin tents dotted about. People can camp in these tents if they wish (a bit like the Bedouin version of the Scottish bothy). We had camped next to two of these tents. There was nobody else there and so the tents became big wendy houses for the girls. It is cute to see them using their imaginations (probably because they have so few toys with them!). They also enjoyed playing with the occasional desert beatle.
We spent a comfortable night in our tent in the desert. It was cold and windy at night, but in the morning the temperature soared again to the high thirties.
The views in the morning were even more impressive than the night before as the air was less hazy. After breakfast we packed up camp and drove to Khazali Canyon, not far from where we had camped. We parked by another Bedouin tent and promised to stop by for tea with the Bedouin man there on our way back from the canyon.
The canyon was very impressive. The rocks in Wadi Rum are hundreds of metres high, rising almost vertically up from flat sand. The rock is a sandstone that has been weathered in such a way that it almost looks like the layers of stone are melting. The canyon is a massive crack in one of these big rocks. It runs for 200 metres through the rock and it is possible to traverse its length. Standing at one end of the canyon and looking into it is very tantalising you feel yourself been drawn in and in to explore whats over the next scramble or round the next corner. We explored a little although we felt like exploring a lot. I think our mothers should be grateful that we have the kids with us they serve as a brake on our ambitions to climb all over Wadi Rum.
We had the promised tea back at the Bedouin tent and then we set off across the desert to find Um Fruth rock bridge. Driving in Wadi Rum was fun. There are lots of tracks, but the secret was to find good, hard routes through the sand and then keep up the momentum to get through/over them. We found the rock bridge after a bit of wandering. Andrew and Keziah climbed up to the bridge, much to Keziahs delight and Naomis frustration! Both of the girls were very keen to climb on the rocks (sorry Grannies, but its true).
We then drove out of Wadi Rum. What an exceptionally brilliant place it is.
Aqaba is only about an hours drive from Wadi Rum, so we got there by early afternoon and headed south of the city where we found an excellent place to stay for the night. Bedouin Garden Village has a pool, playpark and good views over the sea. We spent a happy afternoon there. Tomorrow we head for Egypt country number 9 (Scotland, Belgium, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Jordan & Egypt).