And so when I planned my Middle East journey at the beginning of the year I knew Wadi Rum has to be on my itinerary. Not only I wanted to see the desert that is considered as the most spectacular one in the world but also I needed to catch up on the ultimate desert experience – spending a night in the tent in the middle of nowhere.
I arrived to Wadi Rum before noon. It was already too late to join any of the tours of the area but that was ok as for some reason I wanted to experience the desert on my own. The owner of my camp, a lovely Beduin guy called Zedane, drew for me a map on the ground and pointed the direction in which I should walk to – it was 13kms to the camp – more or less 3 hours – all the way through the desert. I kept walking in moon-alike landscape that was so breathtaking I was constantly in awe. To add up to the overall experience freely walking camels passed me by few times! My walk took much longer than I expected only because I was stopping every minute or two to take a picture of the amazing scenery. Eventually (over 3 hours later) Zedane pulled over next to me and we drove last 2 kilometers to the camp. He brought some snack and drinks for me, showed me around the area and pointed to his secret spots where he hides Polish vodka he got from his guests.
I spent my time in the camp wandering around even more and pinching myself I’m in such an amazing place, so stunning it felt unreal. All I could see was orange sand or orange rocks, and not a single person around. It was one of the moments I felt truly happy and content with my life. The camp was almost empty too, the first day like this after New Year’s Eve period when over 100 people stayed there every night. Besides me there were 6 other traveller, a nice international bunch I spent some time talking to over dinner. I met two of them, an Italian-American couple, few days later in Jerusalem.
The night arrived and yet again I could witness the most beautiful sky ever. It was cloudless and the number of stars up there was uncountable. I wish I was better at astronomy since I could recognize only few most known constellation. I sat at the rock and just stared at the sky, it was so amazing! The place was also perfectly quiet, not a single sound was heard and at times I felt uncomfortable when the silence was trembling in my ears.
The thing with the desert is that it gets crazy cold at night. It was beginning of January so from 20 or so degrees in the daytime it suddenly went down to 2 degrees (at least it was above 0…). When the time to go to sleep came I put most of my clothes on – 4 pairs of socks, pijama + trousers + jeans, 2 short sleeves top + hoodie + fleece sweatshirt and covered myself with 3 really warm blanket. I hardly could move around but I slept like a baby!
I woke up at 6am to witness the sunrise – I heard it’s an unforgettable one and well, it wasn’t far from the truth. The moment when the first ray of sunshine peeked from behind the rocks, giving the place even more intense orange colour, was a truly magical one. Yet again I just stared speeachless at the world in front of my eyes, being amazed by the pure beauty of it! Like most people I spent only less than 24 hours in Wadi Rum but I know it’s the place that deserves much more time, even if to relax, recharge and reflect on the world around us.
I was asked few times if I was scared when traveling solo to the desert. No, I wasn’t. I didn’t experience a single moment when I felt uncomfortable or in danger. Some local Beduins started conversation with me but they were all really nice and didn’t even try to talk me into staying in their camp / ride a camel / go for a tour (unlike in Morocco). Maybe walking on my own wasn’t the smartest idea to some but I found it totally ok – it was an open space so I couldn’t really get lost plus Zedane knew I’m there, walking to his camp so he could have looked for me in case I got lost. And by the way, he was totally great! I don’t know if that was the fact I was travelling on my own or something else but he was really taking care of me, showing me some great spots around, giving snacks and drinks and at the end charging me less than my reservation said. So if you plan a stay in Wadi Rum – Zedane’s Meditation Camp is the place to stay in!
And now just take a look at these amazing pictures! Isn’t this place spectacular?
Have you been / would you like the visit a desert? Which one?
If you think of visiting Jordan or just want to read more about the country take a look what else I wrote about it!
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