The moonscape-style desert of Wadi Rum in Jordan is a remarkable destination for its strange plateaus and rock formations, but that’s not what created my moment of zen in the desert. I was standing on a rock quite literally in the middle of nowhere, the wind circulating hot air and a Bedouin behind me was on his cell phone as we waited for the sun to set. This is a daily ritual when visitors to the UNESCO World Heritage site all journey to various prime locations to await the natural spectacle. I was there with just a few people as I looked across and saw a camel caravan pass in front of us and the sun began its daily show. The feeling that I don’t have a clue what most people’s lives are like around the world isn’t a new sensation, but it redoubled on this desert platform. I felt small, but in an incredibly positive way. Instead of a cog in a machine, as so many of us feel like, I felt more like a speck of sand on a beach, or a desert. It was a happy moment as I watched the marvelous sunset and left the rock in the desert a little more contrite and humble.
For a once in a lifetime desert experience, stay a night or two at Captain’s Desert Bedouin Camp. Sleeping in the middle of the vast and beautiful desert, listening to traditional music and eating amazing food is one of the best ways to explore this remarkable place.
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Riding camels in Wadi Rum!
As part of a group cycling tour of Jordan, we camped overnight in Wadi Ram; this is a MUST DO! The accommodations were Bedouin styled tents in a camp run by Bedouins with flush toilets, showers and electric lights. Probably the tastiest group served meals of the whole trip: lamb and veggies for dinner and cooked to order breakfast in the morning. The highlight for me was wandering out late at night by the light of the full moon to explore/hike in extreme peace and tranquility. A few of us ended up sleeping outside around the fire. An optional early morning camel ride, was a great start to a new day. Tip: hang on tight as the camel sits down to let you off and lean back.
Dec. 27 & 28, 2012