The ladies are at the "entrance" to Wadi Rum in front of Jebel (mountain) al-Mazmar. Recent legend (Can there be urban legends in the desert? With the increase of the tourism and the temptation it brings for starting legends, maybe so.) has it that T.E. Lawrence called this mountain "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom". This, apparently, is a fabrication made up for the promotion of tourism--perhaps? The name of Lawrence's most famous work, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom derives it's name from Proverbs 9:1: "Wisdom has built a house; she has hewn out her seven pillars." The mountain is never mentioned in his book. (from The Rough Guide to Jordan)
At Rum village we loaded our guide's 4-wheeler and headed into Wadi Rum.
These very pregnant white camels belonging to our bedouin guide, followed us into camp. Buying price: about $15,000 for the pair. They're from Saudi Arabia.
As we unpacked our gear into the wool bedouin tent, our guide, in true bedouin style, welcomes us with some golden tea flavored with wild sage.
Sandstone worn through the ages until the mountainsides look like melted candles makes for great climbing as well as beautiful scenery.
Tracks from something very small
Our guide insists that these inscriptions, found on a mountainside near our camp, are authentic. I was thinking Nabatean, but a guide book suggests ancient Thamudic, the Thamuds being a cousin tribe of the Nabateans.
Wide open spaces and sand as far as the eye can see provided energy-expending fun for kids of all ages. It truly warmed my heart to see how much fun they were having!
Highlight: Climbing to the top of a BIG sand dune and running/jumping down together.
Being treated to a beautiful desert sunset, we were a little concerned that the clouds would obscure the famed star display which we were looking forward to seeing that night. We shouldn't have worried. The stars, which I was not clever enough to photograph, were spectacular. We even observed quite a few "falling stars".
Returning to camp just after sunset, we arrived just in time to watch our guide, Miziyad, dig up our supper. Yes, that is what I said, dig up. He had prepared the famous desert dish, zarb, for our entourage.
Chicken, potatoes, tomatoes, and onions are cooked over hot coals in an underground pit. For insulation/cooking, the pit is covered first with foil, then a pan, a wool blanket, and finally, sand.
The food, cooked to perfection, is lifted out of the pit and served. They had also prepared salad, rice, and a wonderful vegetable dish for us to enjoy. Delicious!