Where We Be
|Wadi Rum, Jordan -- Camel Ride
|These goats thrive in the desert...and the goat cheese we ate in Jordan was fantastic
After jouncing around for an hour or so on the
back of a camel you'll begin to understand why
most Bedouins prefer Jeeps! But comfort isn't
really the point of doing a camel ride at least
once in your life, is it? Camels are the ships of
the desert, and once upon a time before Jeeps
they were the only viable option for long-
distance desert travel. An hour on a camel's
back gives you a taste of a very different time
when the Silk Road was THE major caravan
route for silks and spices. Petra was once a
major Silk Road hub, connecting the Silk Road
to the Middle East and North Africa. In fact, it
was taxes and protection money from traveling
camel caravans that funded Petra and turned it
into one of the greatest cities in the region.
You may find, like us, that riding a camel is
something you only need to do once in your
life. If so, do it in a place like Wadi Rum on a
camel with good Silk Road pedigree! Wadi Rum
is one of the most beautiful deserts you'll ever
see, and camels offer a quiet and traditional
way of experiencing it. Sheer-sided mountains
rise up dramatically from the desert floor,
giving you something impressive to look at as
you sway from side to side. Since both legs on
the same side of a camel rise and fall together,
it makes for a rocking motion that does indeed
feel a bit like being on a ship in the desert.
|A solitary camel stands in front of a rock monolith. Each time we saw a camel with no rider,
the boy leading our camels would hiss and speak harshly in Arabic to keep it at a distance.
|Hold on tight to the pommel so you don't pitch forward as the camel kneels down (front legs first) to sit
|Lawrence Spring is the endpoint for our camel ride. The view across the desert from here is one of the prettiest in Wadi Rum.
|Do you seen the green fig tree left of center? We hiked up to it for the view and to see
the spring where Lawrence of Arabia is said to have washed during the Arab revolt of 1916.
|After the steep hike we relaxed in the cool shade of this open-air tent and drank hot sweet tea
|While we relaxed, our guide (in black) and his friend showed us various items for purchase,
including Bedouin head scarfs, sandalwood, myrrh, and a mix of herbs for making sweet tea
|Enjoying being Bedouin for a day!
|The Desert Highway cuts a straight path south from Petra to Wadi Rum in the distance
|This dramatic locale marks the beginning of our Wadi Rum adventures. That's a genuine goat-hair Bedouin tent in the foreground.
|We passed several Bedouin villages like this one along the Desert Highway
|Lovely Wadi Rum is sometimes called a desert of mountains. Some of
the sandstone and granite mountains rise as high as 5,500 ft (1,700 m).
|An hour of camel riding is just about perfect...enough to give you a feel for what it's like but not so long you can't walk when you get off
|Riding tall in the saddle on our ships of the desert (don't you just love mixed metaphors?)
|Squat shadows near midday