Cushions and rugs made the all-day shade of a cleft in the encircling rock very alluring. After all, when we arrived at the Ammarin Bedouin Camp, the day's earth-blanching heat was at its zenith and we had completed a long sweltering drive. We were in no hurry to escape the relief of cool shelter, a sense of ease that extended over the whole “vacation village” as effortlessly as the afternoon's growing shadows.
The camp had taken us by welcome surprise. Despite a small sign urging us toward the desert off the main road to nearby Little Petra, there was no hard evidence of any lodging until we were upon it, pulled up short by a sandy arena in the midst of magnificently twisted and weatherworn rock that (big) Petra would soon reveal to us was characteristic of the area.
A couple of heat-addled staff – locals from the resident Ammarin tribe – ambled over to offer genuine greeting and then ushered us out of the blinding sere. A few hours later, with tea, snacks and snooze behind us all, they showed us around the twin rows of traditional, earth-toned, Bedouin guest tents, the amenities block, cooking area and spacious, carpeted common tent for meals, socializing and entertainment.
We also came to understand that the Ammarin Bedouin Camp is more than just traditional accommodation. It also shares Bedouin culture through its on-site Ammarin Museum, attention to classic desert hospitality and services offering access to the surrounding country.