November 19th, 2010


Wadi Rum

click to enlarge

"We are ready for the slaughter of sheep in the head equipped with visitors, and the way you want."

That's from the brochure of the Camp I stayed at last night. We actually had chicken and vegetables in a delicious stew, and by "we", I mean me and my two guides, because I landed here on a day when nobody else had reservations in this camp. It was a bit awkward, as neither of the 20 year old guys spoke more than a few words of English, but I did learn the Arabic word for butterfly; "farousha".

Wadi rum is a geologic wonder on a massive scale, at the same time reminiscent of northern Arizona, southern Nevada, and Southern Utah, but not like any of them. I am convinced that Roger Dean came here and was inspired to create the magical landscapes of his Yes album covers by these rocks. Melted sandstone comes to mind.

After a rather silly camel ride (one hour around Rum village), I took a six our jeep tour with multiple stops to hike to a spring and mini-oasis, or climb a giant sand dune, or wonder at Nebatean petroglyphs and inscriptions in cliff faces and small siqs. The size of this place is so monumental that i constantly wished for an ultra wide angle lens or even a fisheye. There is simply no way to do justice to it with a camera.

Now I am in Aqaba staying in a rather posh room since the town is full due to Eid, the festival after Ramadan. I have had a much needed shower and am heading to lunch and the beach.


Allah's Witnesses

In Jordanian hotels, they don't have a bible in the drawer, they have a sticker telling you which way Mecca is.