Thursday, March 08, 2012

Wadi Rum, Jordan~Day Four

We were awakened at 4:40am in Wadi Musa, Jordan by the Muslim call to prayer. As I came to consciousness, I thought we were being attacked by wolves, but quickly remembered where I was and grabbed the camera (You'll have to hit pause on my music box on the right, and you might have to turn your volume up to hear the prayer):

Shortly after we checked out of our hotel, our drivers picked us up and we headed out for our day in Wadi Rum, Jordan! We didn't know what to expect, but we DID know that we would be four wheeling through the desert, so we were super happy when Dallas got in and his head was touching the ceiling!

On our drive, we passed a friendly Bedouin camel shepherd. His wayward camels had crossed the four lane highway!

One guy on our tour, Ross, wanted to buy a camel bag, so our driver screeched to a halt on the highway, drove straight over the median, and yelled something out of the window of the jeep. These two friendly Bedouins gave him a nod, and we all jumped out. Some negotiations ensued, but Ross emerged victorious, paying 200 bucks for a camel bag that he bought off the back of some Bedouin's camel in Jordan! How crazy is THAT story?!

Anyhow, these guys were great, and we all got camel rides, too!

Bedouin man.

This camel was a lot more friendly than the last one I rode, although, I'm starting to realize that they all groan when they have to get up off their rumpus-an apparently exhausting task.

This old Bedouin was so sweet!

When we made it to Wadi Rum, we stopped for a quick bathroom break and took some pictures with this mountain in the background. The mountain is called "Seven Pillars," and was made famous by the movie "Lawrence of Arabia."

Seven Pillars-and now I feel obligated to watch the circa 1960, four hour long movie.

The Acacia Tree: One of a handful of trees mentioned in the Bible.

When we met this fine family eight years ago, if you had asked me where the strangest place we'd all end up together would be, WADI RUM, JORDAN would NOT have been an answer I would have considered, but here we are!

We stopped at a Bedouin outpost for some shopping.

The tea was amazing!

They sold Frankincense, too!

Jordan was immensely beautiful. The views EVERYWHERE were expansive and unexplainable!

Our next stop was this canyon:

We were told by our guide that these pictures, specifically the feet in this picture, led people to water sources!

Friends, meet our guide, Ali. Ali was a member of the Jordanian Special Forces for 16 years. He was raised Bedouin and was born in a cave. He is a devout Muslim, a family man, a husband of one wife and has six children. He four wheel drives through the desert like it's a go kart track, and he is altogether tough stuff. He scaled his way to the top of this canyon with spiderman-like strength and incomprehensible agility.



...and he climbed up another 10-15 feet and came out the other side. No ropes. No climbing shoes. No belays. The guy's tough.


Next, we stopped for lunch, where our driver, Ali, and the other driver, Mohammed, gathered desert scrub brush, started a fire, lit another cigarette, and got to cooking.

And, oh BABY! The best tea!

Barbeque Chicken, tomatoes, jalapeno-like peppers, onions that he took straight off the fire and peeled with his bare hands! The guy's tough.

Check out all the side dishes!

Now my mouth is watering...
...and I have no access to Bedouin Barbeque cooked over a desert fire.

While we waited for lunch to be made from scratch in the desert, we climbed up this crevice to the top of a cliff.

We stopped and took time to pray...Tebowing in Jordan...

The view was like nothing we've ever seen. Totally unexpected.

What's that Dallas is holding up with his brute strength?
Oh, right. Stewart.

As we were losing daylight, we saw these camel shepherds taking their camels back home for the night.

We stopped for another bathroom break and considered staying here for the night...
...joke, joke, but you really CAN stay in these tents!

As the shadows crept over the mountains, the scenery just came alive with color and patterns that you only see in National Geographic documentaries...
...not that I watch those...
...I'm not a nerd.

This picture is only missing a sidewinder, right?!

Sadly, as the sun went down and the camels were heading back home, we had to head home as well. I have to say that this may have been the most unique day of my life.

At the end of our day in Wadi Rum, we were dropped off at the Jordanian border, we crossed back through the mine field into Israel, and we drove back to Tel Aviv, leaving our Jordanian dream behind.

I still can't believe I went to Jordan.
I went to JORDAN!

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