Saturday, February 24, 2018

Travel Talk Essential Jordan Tour, Part 3: Wadi Rum Desert

So far I've told you guys about my tour through Amman and to Ajlun and Jerash. On the third day of the Travel Talk Tours' Essential Jordan Tour, we left our hotel in Amman and headed to Wadi Rum!

On this day we are joined by a second group who is doing the longer Egypt and Jordan tour. There was some change from the regular itinerary, since the political climate meant people were having more issues crossing the land border, so the group coming from Egypt was now coming by ferry and our guide / bus need to pick them up in Aqaba.

The change ended up good and bad for us, in my opinion. On the bad part, originally they were going to have us go to Aqaba too, but that was an extra few hours drive for our group for not doing much. Instead, we got dropped off at our Wadi Rum camp, Hillawi (Sand Rose) Camp.
Wadi Rum
The original itinerary says we were supposed to get lunch included in the camp that day, but with the changed schedule we arrived only after lunch. This was kind of a sticking point for us as well, as there was nothing going on that morning. We could've been picked up earlier and arrived in time for lunch. Oh well.

The rooms at the desert camp is pretty basic, but it has what you need. Wall outlets to charge your phones, en-suite bathroom with toilet and running water. There's no hot water in the private bathrooms, although supposedly there's hot water in the communal shower area. Since we were only there one night, I'm pretty sure everyone skipped the shower :P. Wadi Rum
Even though there's no hot water, there's pretty good wi-fi, especially in the dining area. I was there in December, so the nights can get pretty chilly. I had to use all the blankets and slept with socks and my sweater on, but it was manageable. Just a warning to pack appropriately.
Wadi Rum
 Anyway, while our guide and bus driver went to Aqaba, we settled in and was given the option to take a short camel ride through the desert. This was an extra 10 JD (about $15) and everyone in the group took it.
Wadi Rum
When the camel stood up for the first time, it felt pretty weird. I forgot how tall camels were when they stand! The ride was pretty short, but the desert was beautiful and we rested and watched the scenery for a while.
Wadi Rum
This night in the desert camp is the only night where dinner is included. We had a dinner with zarb, traditional Bedouin barbecue where the meat is cooked underground.
Wadi Rum
Lots of lamb and chicken barbecue, obviously!
Wadi Rum
There was hummus and mouhammara .. and I'm not entirely sure what else.
Wadi Rum
Also, this was one of the few places in Jordan where we found alcohol readily available! Beers and wines were 5JD, which wasn't cheap but not terrible.
Wadi Rum
This blonde ale from Carakale was quite good! It's a local microbrewery located near Amman which started in 2010. It is the first microbrewery in Jordan, so I urge you to try it.
Wadi Rum
In the morning we went out for a desert jeep safari. The "jeeps" were really pick-up trucks with cushions on the back, but hey, it's more open that way!
"Jeep" tour
The rock formations reminded me of Arizona, but bigger.
We stopped at a handful of stops to look at petroglyphs and general sightseeing.
Wadi Rum

After the jeep tour we got back on the bus and on to Petra!


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