Unexpected AdventuresLocation: Wadi Rum, Jordan
Pursuiter: Lauren Trucksess
I’ve always been a planner – the type of person who adds completed tasks to their ‘to do’ list simply for the satisfaction of crossing them off. While I know a ‘Type A’ personality might not sound like the best travel buddy, I’ve always believed my need to research and plan has served us well on our jaunts around the world, resulting in itineraries packed with amazing bucket list experiences to tick. Our recent trip to Jordan proved me wrong.
At first, we didn’t even plan to go to Jordan. We only added it as a stop due to the flight schedules. Outside of a visit to Petra, we hadn’t planned much for our time there. But then, we found a place called Wadi Rum, a vast desert in the southern part of the country. Around 720 square kilometres of nothing but mountains, sand and the odd camel or two. Home to the Bedouin people for centuries, Wadi Rum is a place that requires a bit of planning. I mean, a desert that isn’t exactly the best place to wing it! The tour guide websites we found weren’t able to tell us much, so we drove up to the entrance and met a local Bedouin guide who was willing to show us around. We left the bulk of our luggage in our rental car, packed up our MHM day pack with our camera gear and an extra layer of clothes (it was winter!) and hopped into the back of a beaten down pickup truck. As we bumped along on the unpaved track, I wondered if it was going to be worth it. Then, our truck puttered into a valley, surrounded by dramatic cliffs. The sand turned to a stunning red, whipped into dunes by the winds – a truly alien landscape. Our GoPros worked overtime and our cameras clicked away as were greeted by stunning scenery on all sides. The sun had come out and we opted to move to the back of the pickup, where we could take in the warmth and the views unobstructed.
Our guide told us he had been born right there in the desert and while it was hard to imagine turning such a harsh place into a home, there was hidden evidence of it all around us. We toured caves which sheltered ancient cave drawings and pockets of water and walked over remnants of stone houses. Moving from natural archways to towering dunes, we felt like true adventurers in the back of that truck – with no idea what to expect, aside from more wind in our hair and sand in our boots. It was truly unlike any place I had ever seen. All of the planning in the world could not have made for a better day. That 720 square kilometres of ‘nothing’ proved to be ‘everything’ for us that day.