Wadi Rum

Left Wadi Musa early in the morning. Took a mini bus to Wadi Rum Village, the entry point to the Wadi Rum Protected Area, another one of Jordan’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Wadi Rum is basically a desert. A rocky one, with cliffs jutting out of the valley floor, but nonetheless a desolate place. Besides tourism, Wadi Rum can hardly support any human activity. This area is pretty popular, not just for tourists, but for film crews as well. For example, some of the recent films that were shot here are “The Martian” and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”. Wadi Rum Village is the only settlement in the park and it looks like a proper village, so don’t expect to go around shopping.

We booked a tour with Wild Wadi Rum, one of several operators having tent camps in the area. Left our bags in a Jeep and boarded another Jeep. Note to whoever is interested in coming here: I know it’s sunny, hot, no shade, but do take some cold weather/ windproof clothes with you. You’ll thank me later.

To summarize the day: they took us to see many rocks. I’m over simplifying here and it was pretty awesome. But I’m still amazed how they got a major tourist attraction from literally dry rock. Things we did/saw:
– some arches, even got to climb on top
– some canyons
– ancient cave writings
– a spring – being the only permanent source of surface water, it’s a huge deal in such a place
– sandboarding – like snowboarding, but slower and hotter
– sunset chillaxing
– and of course ride a jeep

We had the traditional “make a hole in the ground, start a fire, put some food on top then bury it” dinner. After that, everybody retreated to their Bedouin goat-hair tent.

Overall we had a great time. Most locals in the area now live off tourism. Happy to see them taking advantage of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If only Romanians had more WHSs to invest in. Oh wait…: “the Romanian government just temporarily pulled its application for the area [of Rosia Montana] to be protected as a World Heritage Site”.

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