miércoles, 19 de junio de 2013

Wadi Rum desert


From Petra, we weren't too far from the Wadi Rum desert, also known as the Valley of the Moon. The Manager of our hotel in Petra booked a night for us in a Bedouin camp in the desert. It's not cheap (60 Euros per person), but it is a great experience. A little bus picked us up at the hotel on the morning of April 28th and brought us to Wadi Rum.
Our guide was waiting for us with his jeep when we arrived and he was going to show us the most important places of this desert that made Lawrence of Arabia famous (A movie we still need to see and that will definitely bring back memories).

So there was our guide, "Suliman", and his 33 year old jeep. Other guides made fun of this, but for us it had a special touch. The first thing he did was taking us to his home and invite us for tea with his family. A tea that we don't know the name of but that is served all over Jordan with honey and that we absolutely loved.
Suliman told us that all the bedouins that live in this little town (about 1500 people) come from the same family since their great great grand-parents moved to this area over 350 years ago. They are called the Zalabia tribe.

After this visit, we were ready to go into the desert. Suliman took us to the most important places, we were sitting in the back of the jeep and we realy enjoyed the views and the whole experience. It is a very beautiful place. We took a break and had a pic-nic in the shadow of a mountain rock, away from sun and wind on a big blanket with some snacks and more tea together with 3 italian tourists and a guide from another jeep. I even took a little nap and could hear a few goats pass with their shepard on the background. After that we went to see some dunes, where everybody started to jump and slide off the sand, really fun! Finally it was time to get to know our camp and wait to see the amazing sunset from up the mountain rocks.

The night at the camp was amazing. Firstly because of the very tasty dinner, which in the desert is prepared under the ground, as if it was a barbecue but below the sand. We had delicous chicken, rice and vegetables, the best meal so far and that we will always remember because it was so good. After that we sat together with 4 other tourists and the guides, and talked around a fire, and to finish off we had an amazing view at the sky where we could literally see a million stars. So beautiful! We loved this unique experience with the amazing Bedouin people.

A couple of other things we learned about the Bedouins:

-Until 1999 the babies were born in the desert , including our guide was born there. He says that as long as an older woman was present, there was no problem. Since then, the women go to hospital to have their babies and people also live in the village nowadays, not in the desert anymore. Our guide's parents generation refuse to live in the village and will live in the desert for the rest of their lives.

-The bedouins have a name for each mountain, they are taught by their father from their childhood. They know how to orientate themselves perfectly just by looking at the stars.