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  • Writer's pictureErin Nixon

June 24: Wadi Rum

Location: Aqaba, Jordan; Wadi Rum, Jordan

Woke up this morning feeling like I’ve been hit by a bus. Mount Sinai made me hurt all over, my legs, my back, my shoulders… At least I won’t have to do any more hiking…until tomorrow when we have to hike to Petra…

I sorted out my suitcase, repacked everything, then got dressed to wait for the guys to wake up so we can all go to breakfast downstairs.

The guys didn’t get up till 11 or so, and it took them forever to get ready. They are such girls sometimes… I went to a couple of the banks close by to change my travelers checks over to Jordanian dinar. Unfortunately…travelers checks are the most useless thing in the world…no one takes them. I ended up just going to an ATM and getting 100 JD.

I checked out of my room and waited for the guys to finish sorting out everything. We decided to spend the entire day in Wadi Rum and then take a bus to Petra tomorrow morning. We found a taxi to take us to Wadi Rum for 2 JD a piece, and we got on the road through the desert. Along the way, David talked to the driver, who is Bedouin, and found out that he does desert safari tours and camping out in the desert for tourists. So…we are going on a jeep tour of Wadi Rum, and then spending the night out in tents in the desert.

We got in the jeep, after picking up some drinks along the way. The jeep ride was really nice. Wadi Rum was Lawrence of Arabia’s favorite place, because of how beautiful everything is. The village we stayed at was made up of one family, and it was huge. Just tons of cousins, and aunts and uncles. Brothers and sisters everywhere. Our driver was 34 years old, and he had a little brother that was two, because his father has three wives, and has been married seven times. I have also not seen any women in this village. Anywhere. Not kids, not teenagers…no one. We climbed up to Lawrence’s spring on the side of a mountain. It was a hard climb straight up over a log of rocks, but there was a huge tree and hundreds of mint plants growing in the middle of a ton of rocks.

Afterwards, we climbed into Khazali canyon, which wasn’t far away. The canyon is very close, and has old cave etchings in Arabic. Nathan climbed a little further than everyone else. After Khazali, we climbed a sand dune, and I rested in the shade on some rocks while the guys kept climbing. Apparently Nathan climbed a little too high, and he had to get David and Jacek to help him down because he was barefoot… After they came down we jumped off the sand dune…and basically carried away half of it in our shoes, clothes, hair…

Next were some drawings on the side of a mountain…which weren’t earth shattering or anything, they reminded me of the Native American drawings in the Southwest. Close by was Lawrence’s House, which today is just a few walls and a pile of stone… We saw a natural bridge, and David climbed the mountain to stand on top of it for a picture. Very dangerous I might add…

Next, we headed to our tents to wait for sunset, which was amazing. I took a lot of pictures at various times, then Jacek took a picture of David, Nathan, and I. We sat outside for a while, then had dinner, chicken, potatoes, rice, and bread, all cooked in an underground stove. Best food I’ve had in ages. Of course, I also hadn’t eaten all day…

After dinner we sat outside and talked while we looked at the stars, then everyone got ready for bed. We all decided to sleep outside, instead of inside the tent, because there were bugs everywhere, and a few mice…

We’re getting up early to get on the bus for Petra, so I think I’m going to head to sleep.

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