Day 277

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Day 277 Wadi Rum
Follow in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia with a short drive (approx 2 hrs) to the extraordinary desert scenery of Wadi Rum. On the way, we make a few stops to check out some sight seeing spots. First up is a brief stop to see Petra from above and soak in the vistas of where we explored only yesterday. Then a 4-hour jeep safari takes us through some of the most beautiful and sublime desert scenery on the planet, a true highlight of this trip.
Wadi Rum is full of weird and beautiful lunar-like and martian-like rock formations. Traces of ancient civilisations can be seen in the many carved inscriptions found throughout the Wadi Rum area. The most enduring monuments in Wadi Rum, however, are those carved by nature – the natural rock bridges, towering rose-coloured sand dunes and scattered rocky peaks.
We sleep in a simple desert camp under a camel hair tent with a mattress and blankets provided. One thing I remember, while the desert may be very hot during the day, it will still be brass monkey cold at night. Thankfully as I had addition tent to myself built for 2, the extra warm clothes and a sleeping bag that was highly recommended when travelling outside of the summer months wasn’t needed. I just doubled up on blankies! Conditions are basic at our desert camp, but the company of our Bedouin hosts is warm.
Before we get there though, we make additional stops. First stop is at the 7 Pillars of Wisdom… a famous monolith where Lawrence of Arabia was shot, as well as other famous films including Total Recall and The Martian. There were a lot of areas in Wadi Rum where films were made… but this was a particularly amazing one. Then we stopped at a handy red sand dune and climbed it for a handy sandy panorama of the desert, perched like giant lizardmen on the dune. After that we saw and climbed the Um Frouth stone arch bridge before finally stopping to explore  the Lawrence Spring Khazali Siq ancient stone graffiti, from pictographs to Thamudic, Nabataean and Arabic texts. Then we hit the Bedouin camp to check in to our tents… watch a gorgeous sunset, eat dinner cooked in the ground and finally just lie on the desert sands and watch the majesty of stars and milky way arcing overhead, with the addition of a shooting star or 2. No matter how many glorious sights and sites i see… that always takes my breath away. I’ll treasure the memory of laying beneath the twinkling desert night sky for the rest of my life.

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