And into the desert we drove..
..quite literally, following Google Maps’ abrupt left turn into the endless sea of sand. Through the wavering dunes we could see Wadi Rum Dream Camp but the little Nissan was no match for the terrain. Our first glimpse of life barreled through the sands in a beat up, rusted pickup, driven by a young Bedouin boy. Failed attempt after failed attempt we tried in vain to drag the car out of the sand with a frayed, continuously shredding rope. More showed up, some in vehicles, others on foot. Laughing and shouting back and forth to each other in Arabic. The sweltering sun scorched down upon us, burning our skin while trying to push the car, sand spewing into the air and all over my body. Caked in red granules. Gritty teeth. In time the tires were free and our host made haste driving our car through the roadless desert to the camp.
With embarrassment aside we could finally stare in awe at the spectacle around us. An alien, Martian like landscape consumed us in every direction. Red sanded dunes blanketed desolate towering rock walls. And inside our camp an oasis of beautifully mannered hosts, treating us to a simple and incredible Bedouin experience. Tea by the pailful constantly brewing over the fire. Never to run out, always in ample supply. Quiet and serene. Nowhere else to be but in this exact moment, taking in the tranquility of the infinitely bizarre.
Cast aside were our previously detached minds; minute after minute falling back into the spirit of connection for others. Funny thing it was too, racing down the Kings Highway South away from every city epicenter and into the desert only to find kindred souls plentiful. Of all our adventure thus far, Wadi Rum Dream Camp truly exemplified our intention and desire for the most rugged of Nature. Free from sirens and obstructions. Free from hagglers, smog, deceit and struggle. Just here to simply breathe and take in the wide, open realm of Moon Valley.
Slowly bobbing on the backs of camels; their ultra wide hoofs sinking deeply into the coral sands with each step. In the still desert air all that could be heard were the belching, chewing, farting and groaning camels under us, nonchalantly moving in a rhythmic pace. Stopping for breaks to tear off sections of desert grass reeds that scarcely dotted the landscape.
In the evening climbing up the towering sandstone rock formations to see an everlasting sunset envelop the desert floor. Orange bursts of light sending pink rays in all directions. Dramatic shadows cast across etched walls. Timelessly enchanted. Bare feet scraping on sandpaper floors, the right stick to climb bulbous mounds of rock. The setting sun immediately turning dune fields cool to the touch, chill beginning to swallow the heat of the day.
An evening by a crackling fire, sipping fire brewed tea with slight dashes of whiskey to wrap our insides in warmth. Great wafts of fragrant foods fill the camp as the buffet dinner begins to ascend from beneath the ground. Roasted for hours inside of the Earth on a four tiered tray, a plethora of variety. The dinner tent contained a fifteen foot table jammed packed with the traditional meals of the valley. So much vegetarian variety our taste buds drooled with earnest delight. The day closes in calm, quiet quarters, wrapped up in blankets as the Milky Way stained sky dances overhead the camp.
Another morning greeted by warm smiles and hot tea by the fire. The sound of sizzling omelets and smell of fresh cut fruit beckon us yet again into the dining tent. Happiness and tranquility overrule all emotions here; no time or need for futile feelings of frustration or anxiety. Relax, rejoice in nature with the friendly faces of the camp.
Grinding gears halt outside of our Bedouin tent, ushering us along into the back of a pickup. For five hours we skate through the dunes, fiendishly taking in every angle of this magnificent desert. Incredibly vast we went further and further into the desert abyss.
Stopping randomly throughout the excursion for tea breaks, chats, and petting cats. Watching the locals embrace each other was something so breathtakingly beautiful. How comfortable and relaxed their gestures and animation were made us feel all the more enthralled. Subtle inclusion into a culture that often gets judged with malicious sentiment; and here we are, thrust into it and only seeing harmonious benevolence all around. Smiles and laughter, warmth and care.
Walking through a field of cairns as we climb to view the landscape from above. No turnstiles or queues, no infant shouts or boisterous cackling. Just us on a solemn adventure with limited time constraints from our driver. Led to areas of immeasurable beauty, left to see and feel for ourselves. To embrace it all full-heartedly.
A natural bridge etched inside a bouldering canyon stood high above the desert floor, reminding us of the National Monuments so close to our home in the United States. Stepping across this Earth yet again we are blown away by the symmetry of our planet’s features. Across oceans and vast stretches of land we come full circle to the artistry of Nature through wind, water and erosion.
We live a life inspired by rock, water, life in all its incredible forms. Letting our emotions run wild like the terrain that engulfs us every day. There is so much natural beauty in the world, it could make us cry in awe. Our senses are excited beyond realization when thrown into all extremes of Nature. We find love in the Earth everywhere man has not thrust his alchemistic ventures and toxicity.
We send our love to all those beautiful souls in Wadi Rum Dream Camp. Thank you for your impeccable hospitality, your generous and thoughtful spirit. If time were on our side, we would have stayed much longer and embraced this experience further yet, squeezing every drop of sun and every grain of sand into an even more everlasting memory.