Not much can be said about the red hills, the sun shining on our heads, walk through the red sands but a lot can be experienced at this Valley of Moon
Words, photographs and video: Ambica Gulati
The sun over our heads but nothing could beat us out of visiting the famed Valley of the Moon or Wadi Rum which is a protected area since 2011, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The red sands, the red hills, the land of the ancient Bedouins, this has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Made famous with the writings of Lawrence of Arabia, adventures of Indiana Jones and beauty of The Martian, it has been the home of the Nabateans also. Their marks lie in rock paintings, graffiti and temples.
The sand blew around as we went on our jeep safari, fascinated by the red landscape, water bottles got empty and our guide Salah regaled us with stories of the British officer T. E. Lawrence who passed through several times during the Arab Revolt of 1917–18.
Home to the Zalabia Bedouin, Wadi Rum is popular with climbers and trekkers. Even the ‘Dil tu his bata’from Hrithik Roshan starrer Krrish 3 was filmed here. It’s an adventure seekers delight, for you watch the sun go down as no human sound disturbs the night here. Near the Captain’s Desert Camp where we stayed the night, was a racing track and the sands show a different colour as the cars whiz past. The wind howling, I watched the sun down, changing the landscape, the red hills sizzled and dazzled as they changed hues with the setting sun.
And then it was time for some more black tea and some traditional Jordanian fare cooked in the sands. The night was young as live traditional Arabic music buzzed in the dinner area. And then some star gazing to complete the desert silence. I slept through, not hearing the hyenas and the music and woke up only as the morning sun filtered through the narrow tent window.
Things you can do and how
Arrangements are made the Wadi Rum Tourist Centre. (http://wadirum.jo/)
Stay in a desert camp. Take a tour of the Bedouin land with traditional Bedouin guides. You can go rock climbing, see the canyons, the rock drawings and enjoy camel rides.