It was a long but easy day as I made the transition into the Wadi Rum landscape, the stomping grounds of Lawrence of Arabia. Flat, unimpressive desert dominated the first 6 or 7 miles of the day, then increasingly large sandstone outcroppings begin dominating the landscape.
As I made my way towards Shakriya, undulating orange sands appeared sometimes as sand dunes and other times it just covered the desert floor. I made my way between sandstone mountains sometimes jutting up 1000 feet above the desert floor. It was a lovely day as I approached the major tourist destination of Wadi Rum. I think I took more pictures today than any other day except possibly when I was in Petra.
Today was probably the first time that I didn’t see a single sheep or shepherd. Lots of camels though. All the Bedouins I met today are somehow related to the tourist industry in Wadi Rum. They are still nice people and still invite me to sit down and have tea with them. As soon as I step into the Wadi Rum Protected Area, things will drastically change. They will cease to see me as a free soul roaming the desert, but see me as a way to make money.
I’ve come to respect the Bedouins who aggressively try to sell camel rides to tourists. I know the huge amount of work that goes into maintaining a camel and how they have to bring their camels from far away into Wadi Rum every day to do business. Many times they don’t even get a single customer all day, never mind the tourist season is only for two or three months a year.
My ankles are sore from today’s walk because I made the transition from rocky terrain to sand. It ain’t easy walking through sand and I’m not used to it. I used muscles that haven’t been used this whole trip until today, and I feel them now. Apparently I’ll be pretty much in sand the rest of the hike.
It sure was pretty today. But don’t I say that almost every day?
You can find all my journal entries from hiking the Jordan Trail here: Jordan Trail