Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Wadi Rum


We were back on the road again by 8am. Off to a jeep ride around Wadi Rum. The jeep, however, turned out to be a Toyota pickup. We made a quick stop at the railroad depot station that served the Orient Express. They do reenactment plays of Lawrence of Arabia. This was something for us because we saw one of the original steam engines back in Istanbul.

We met out "jeep" driver out in the middle of the desert. A wadi is a dry channel, ravine, or valley except when the rains come.
Wadi Rum has been inhabited by many human cultures since prehistoric times, with many cultures–including the Nabateans–leaving their mark in the form of rock paintings, graffiti, and temples.
In the West, Wadi Rum may be best known for its connection with British officer T. E. Lawrence, who passed through several times during the Arab Revolt of 1917–18. In the 1980s one of the rock formations in Wadi Rum was named "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom" after Lawrence's book penned in the aftermath of the war, though the 'Seven Pillars' referred to in the book have no connection with Rum.
We made a stop at a Bedouin tent for tea. Geoff and I climbed up a huge sand dune. Tried to make it to the top but we kept slipping backwards - got really close though.  Stopped at the camel station and was greeted with a baby camel about one month old.  Our last stop, was another Bedouin at the site where Lawrence of Arabia
met General Allenby.  They also shot one of the scenes from the Martian at this site. Most of the Martian was filmed in Wadi Rum. The scenery was amazing, and there wasn't another vehicle in sight - just camels.

We left the wadi and drove down to Aqaba. This is one of the wealthiest cities in Jordan. Directly across the Red Sea facing Eilat, Israel. We had grouper for lunch and there was so much left over, they wrapped it all up for us.  Walked around town through the market and down to the sea. Very pretty, clean town.

Said good-bye to Omar and Mohammad at the border. Mr. Hannah was there to make sure all the paperwork went through at the crossing. Walked over to the Israeli side - went through several security checks. Finally was across and there was no one waiting for us. Deja vu!  Fortunately, we did have an Israeli phone - called the company. "Oh, we thought you were coming at 4pm not 2".  Eventually, the cab came and it was a short ride to the hotel.

We are on our own now. Making a plan for what to do in Eilat. Hope not to do too much - maybe some snorkeling.  It kinda feels like Miami here but we haven't really seen too much yet.  We'll explore more tomorrow.

Next time... Exploring Eilat


1 comment:

  1. Aqaba, lotsa kinda town. It's funny how all babies (warm-blooded ones) are cute and loveable, even a camel. Seems like a perfect place for the Martian...blend of rock and desert. From Mars to Miami, you are seeing it all.

    In case you haven't heard, the Celtics have won 14 straight home games including Cleveland.