After I had seen my fill of the Lost City of Petra, I had a few days to play with before I had to be back in Amman for an onwards flight. Luckily, there were a few more spots in Jordan that I was desperate to see before I left!
Not too far from Petra lies Wadi Rum – which is the largest wadi in all of Jordan – and perhaps the most spectacular.
Also known as the ‘Valley of the Moon’, Wadi Rum truly does look like something from another planet!
Sandstone and granite boulders and rocks are met with seemingly endless dunes of the most red sand you can imagine, and the result is something so aesthetically pleasing, it is almost guaranteed to take your breath away; and if the views don’t do it, climbing up the steep dunes certainly will!
To be perfectly honest, I arrived at Wadi Rum with absolutely no expectations. I didn’t know anything about the history of the area, the geography or what kind of sights I could expect to see, and perhaps having no real expectations is the best way to approach exploring a new place – because I loved my time exploring Wadi Rum!
Wadi Rum covers a huge 720 square kilometres, so it is definitely not the kind of place you can just go for a little stroll through! Also, the sand dunes make for some seriously tricky traversing, so it isn’t a place to go with your rental car!
The easiest and best way to explore this Wadi is to hop in the jeep of one of the local bedouin men who work for a camp or tour company. Personally, I stayed overnight at the Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp – and spent time exploring the wadi with a driver associated with this camp.
This area has been inhabited by many different groups of people over the years, most notably, the Nabateans. As such, Wadi Rum isn’t just an isolated desert landscape with no signs of life! If you stray from the sand dunes towards the rocks and caves you will likely find wall carvings and graffiti – and in some places you may even find neatly carved stairs… amazing!
In modern times, only very few people actually live and reside permanently within the wadi, but people certainly still do!
We had been out exploring for most of the day and I was absolutely bursting at the seams – I needed to pee and there was no toilet anywhere nearby! So, in an act of desperation, I went into a small gorge to privately relieve myself, and just as I went to unzip my jeans, I looked around once more to check that I was alone and it turned out that I definitely was NOT.
This is what was headed straight for me!
The goats were adorable, so much so that I was distracted from my rather urgent situation for a few minutes.
How could I not be? Look at this cute little kid!
After I had spent enough time getting excited over baby goats (and after I had finally solved my, ahem, problem) it was time to keep exploring!
This next shot is easily one of my favourites from my Wadi Rum adventure!
In a way, Wadi Rum reminded me of my home country – Australia. When I think of Central Australia, the first thing my brain pictures is rich red earth, which is a very similar colour to the earth that you’d find in Wadi Rum.
After a long but wonderful day of exploring (and only getting the jeep stuck in sand dunes once) it was time to relax and soak up the sunset.
I spent that night having an amazing dinner at one of the desert camps, and after a seriously comfortable nights sleep, I woke up to find these fellas parked right outside my lodgings.
All too soon it was time to say goodbye to the glorious landscapes of Wadi Rum and continue on towards Amman.
The last thing I desperately wanted to experience whilst in Jordan was a frolick in the Dead Sea.
I remember seeing a documentary about Israel when I was a little kid, and the images of men reading newspapers whilst floating almost on top of the water really stuck with me. Ever since then, a float in the Dead Sea had stayed firmly on my bucket list.
However, sometimes travel experiences just don’t quite live up to your expectations, and this was definitely the case for my dead sea experience!
Firstly, the weather was rather crummy.
Visiting Jordan in the cooler months certainly has its advantages (I can’t imagine doing all my Petra hiking in intense summer heat) but it has disadvantages too…
…it isn’t exactly warm in the water!
Secondly, I had no idea that getting into the water wouldn’t be a simple task!
First, you must climb up and down over hard deposits of salt – something that is really quite tricky for the uncoordinated!
Once I finally made it into the water, I enjoyed my floating for sure, but it just didn’t live up to the hype I had created in my head.
The experience wasn’t bad, but it was certainly underwhelming. I wonder if this is one experience that would be more enjoyable from the Israeli side of the Dead Sea?
After attempting to get clean after my swim (borderline impossible – the salt clings) it was time to head back towards Amman in order for me to catch an onwards flight.
If you are thinking about whether or not to book a trip to Jordan – do it! You absolutely won’t regret it.
As always, happy solo travelling! xx
Getting to Wadi Rum: From Amman, Wadi Rum is about a 4hr drive
Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp: A comfortable and beautiful desert camp! Prices start at 35 JD per night
The Dead Sea: The saltiest sea on Earth would be best experienced whilst staying at a nearby hotel – you will want a hot shower afterwards!
Camera: Images captured with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 in conjunction with M.Zuiko 12-40mm f2/8 lens
Remember: If you take your camera into the dead sea – be very careful not to get water on it – the salt really sticks to everything!