Tourist Photo Post: Wadi Rum and Camels


A Rock Formation at Wadi Rum

In Arabic, the word for valley is wadi. Jordan is a land of wadis. During the winter many of the wadis become small creeks and rivers that dry up in summer. Probably the most famous is Wadi Rum, a series of desert valleys running north-south just south of the Shara Mountains. Approximately 720 square kilometers (278 square miles) Wadi Rum is a protected natural area in Jordan and is home to Bedouin tribes. Wadi Rum is also home to spectacularly rock formations: wind-blown domes towering above the rosy desert floor.

The night before we went to Petra, we camped with one of the Bedouin tribes in goat-hair tents. They made us zrb, which entails burying lamb and chicken in an earth pit, covering it with charcoal and sand, and letting it cook for three to four hours. Although this was the first time I’ve eaten lamb, I will definitely eat it again the next time a Bedouin offers it to me.

Our Camp at Wadi Rum
My Camel: As You Can See, We’re in Love

And now the event you’ve all been waiting for: the camel ride. For 10 dinar each, we got to ride a camel into the desert to watch the sunset. My camel was very tall and white and the most beautiful camel in the herd. Okay, he was a bit cranky at the end of the ride, but I don’t blame him at all.

After the camel ride, we watched the sunset, we ate zrb and danced with the Bedouins to an odd mixture of Arabic music and rap. It has been my experience that Jordanians are very expressive: the men love to dance with each other, singing along, rolling their hips and waving their arms in the air. It was all very disarming.

Mounting My Camel: He’s Super Excited as You Can Tell
Jaffer, Ma’in and Kenten Are Excited in the Background
Ornwipa on Her Camel
From Left: Ornwipa, Jaffer and Me
I Love Camels!

The sunset was also spectacular, although compared to camels, it left something to be desired.

Watching the Sunset
One More Sunset Photo at Wadi Rum
After a Night with the Bedouins at Wadi Rum
In front: Me, Dr. Muna, Rima, Carmen, Kenten, Maggie, Ornwipa, Ban, Dr. Heidi and Jaffer
In Back: Ahmed, Nate, Ma’in, Rico, Joe and Abu Noor