Jordan – Wadi Rum Desert

– AUGUST 23-24, 2015

Described by Lawrence of Arabia as “Vast and Echoing“, Wadi Rum is an outstanding desert landscape.  Mountains of sandstone and granite emerge from open valleys to reach heights of over 1700m; and narrow canyons cut deep into the mountains, often concealing ancient rock drawings.  This remarkable landscape is now a protected area covering 720 sq km.  The rights to Wadi Rum are owned by one family, so when you look online you’ll see a bunch of websites claiming to do Wadi Rum desert tours.  The reality is that the other tour companies will pick you up from the visitor centre, then drive you to a different desert that they have the rights to and call it the Wadi Rum desert (although it isn’t).  The typical tourist doesn’t know the difference, so they think they went through Wadi Rum.  Do your homework people.

The mountains of Wadi Rum are home to several Bedouin tribes and their goat hair tents are a feature of the landscape.  Today, many Bedouin earn their living from tourism but they still retain their goatherds and other traditional ways of life.

Wadi Rum still supports a surprising variety of desert loving wildlife, including small populations of the Syrian wolf, striped hyena, and Nubian ibex.  Small mammals, insects and reptiles are more common and there are many birds of prey to be seen during migration seasons.

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – this is our open air truck where we rode all day through the desert.

The Nabatean Temple was used by Nabatean to worship ALLAT (Goddess).  This temple was built on the ruins of Allat Temple.

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Nabatean Temple – Aretas (IV)

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Nabatean Temple – Aretas (IV)

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Nabatean Temple – Aretas (IV)

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Nabatean Temple – Aretas (IV)

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Nabatean Temple – Aretas (IV) – a puppy was left alone in the temple.

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Nabatean Temple – Aretas (IV)

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Nabatean Temple – Aretas (IV) – a gravesite next to it

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Nabatean Temple – Aretas (IV) – a gravesite next to it

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Nabatean Temple – Aretas (IV)

Al Shallaleh is an oasis spring with freshly filtered mountain water dripping through the cracks of a mountain.

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Al Shallaleh

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Al Shallaleh

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Al Shallaleh

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Al Shallaleh

We then left the local town area to head off to the desert in the open air truck box.  It was hot, but the breeze was quite refreshing.  We left our large bags back at the hotel in Petra so we only had our smaller backpacks while in the dusty desert.

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – riding into the desert

Lawrence’s Spring is where Lawrence of Arabia reputedly washed during the Arab Revolt.  The spring is at the top of a difficult rocky climb marked by a single large tree.  At the base you will find attractive rocks with inscriptions marked on them.

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Lawrence’s Spring

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Lawrence’s Spring

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Lawrence’s Spring

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Lawrence’s Spring

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Lawrence’s Spring

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Lawrence’s Spring

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Lawrence’s Spring

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Lawrence’s Spring

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Lawrence’s Spring

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Lawrence’s Spring

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Lawrence’s Spring

Khazali Canyon is a deep, narrow fissure in the mountain side which contains many rock inscriptions.

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Khazali Canyon

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Sand dunes by Khazali Canyon

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Sand dunes by Khazali Canyon

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Khazali Canyon

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Khazali Canyon

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Khazali Canyon

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Khazali Canyon

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Khazali Canyon

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Khazali Canyon

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Khazali Canyon

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Khazali Canyon

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Khazali Canyon

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Khazali Canyon

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Khazali Canyon

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Khazali Canyon

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Khazali Canyon

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Khazali Canyon

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Khazali Canyon

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Khazali Canyon

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Khazali Canyon

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Khazali Canyon

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Khazali Canyon

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Khazali Canyon

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Khazali Canyon

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Khazali Canyon

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Khazali Canyon

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Khazali Canyon

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Khazali Canyon

We stopped for lunch in the shade of a mountain.  The guide prepared a nice assortment of pita, tuna, juice, cheese and snack bars.

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Our lunch spot

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Our lunch spot

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Desert views

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Riding in the desert

Lawrence’s House is a stone living quarters built against a mountain which was occupied by Lawrence of Arabia.

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Lawrence’s House

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Lawrence’s House

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Lawrence’s House

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Lawrence’s House

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Lawrence’s House

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Lawrence’s House

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Lawrence’s House

The Burrah Canyon Siq is a large crack in a mountain that has since divided so much you could drive an army though it (unlike the other siqs we have seen where a person or two could only fit).

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Burrah Canyon Siq

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Burrah Canyon Siq

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Burrah Canyon Siq

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Burrah Canyon Siq

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Burrah Canyon Siq

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Burrah Canyon Siq

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Burrah Canyon Siq

There is a large rock that has had the bottom worn out in that today it appears like a large rock mushroom.  To keep things simple the locals named it the “Mushroom Rock“.

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Mushroom Rock

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Mushroom Rock

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Mushroom Rock

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Sand dune by the Mushroom Rock

The sunset picture location was next to the rock bridge Um Frouth Rock Bridge.

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Um Frouth Rock Bridge

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Um Frouth Rock Bridge

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Um Frouth Rock Bridge

We then made our way to the overnight desert camp where we hung out for a sunset photo opportunity.  We were able to get a dramatic view of Wadi Rum as the sun dipped below the horizon.

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – the sunset site

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – the sunset site

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – the sunset site

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – the sunset site

The desert camp had two person tents and a small kitchen/bathroom set-up.

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – the campsite

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – the campsite

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – the campsite

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – the campsite (Jill and Hannah)

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – the campsite (the breakfast spread)

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – the campsite (our host playing music and singing for us under the stars)

The often photographed rock bridge in Wadi Rum is the Burdah Rock Bridge.  It was a tough climb, but the resulting pics are well worth it.

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Burdah Rock Bridge

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Burdah Rock Bridge

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Burdah Rock Bridge

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Burdah Rock Bridge

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Burdah Rock Bridge

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Burdah Rock Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Burdah Rock Bridge

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Burdah Rock Bridge

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – More desert driving

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – The desert road left behind

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Kenneth is standing in the white desert while Jill is standing in the red desert. The yin & yang of the desert!

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – The highest rock bridge in Jordan. It would have been a two hour climb to the top, plus two hours back down. We passed on this one to see more things in the time we had.

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Stopping to see some ancient markings on rocks

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Lawrence of Arabia marked this stone with a map of the desert so his people would know the way to protection and water.

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Ancient rock markings

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Ancient rock markings

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – A selfie in the desert at the end of the tour

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Two men from vastly different worlds can still come together and have a friendly competition of throwing rocks. Jill laughed at us.

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – A scenic shot by Jill

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Wadi Rum Desert Tour – Its 1:00pm and the two day/one night desert adventure is done. Now we are in a taxi on our way to more Roman ruins and some canyoning fun.

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For more photos of our adventure go to our flickr account here.