Saturday, August 23, 2008

down and dirty

Showering was more important than usual last night after we got back from our two day desert excursion to southern Jordan. It was necessary--and it felt oh so good--to scrub from our skin a thick layer of red sand, a symbolic reminder of another layer of memorable life experience. We enjoyed the company of our good friend Mohammad as we accomplished a whirlwind tour of Aqaba, Wadi Rum, and Petra across the extremes of summer in the middle of the Middle East desert. It was fun to follow in the footsteps of Indiana Jones on the path to Petra, but first we bussed our way to Aqaba for a dip in the Red Sea, then camped like the Bedouins among the dramatic cliffs of Wadi Rum.

The highlight for me was our evening to morning stay in Wadi Rum, a protected area of desert wilderness with contrasting sand valleys and sandstone peaks. I like rock climbing, so I was happy to scale a couple of piles of carved sandstone, first for the sunset, then again when Mohammad woke me up to catch the sunrise. Between the times that the sun was painting the mountains red, we squeezed in some good conversation and a fairly comfortable night's sleep in a canvas tent under the blur of a million stars. I can still feel the warm desert breeze blowing on my face and, though it eventually carried me away from Wadi Rum, it was nice to have nowhere else to be that night.


Augustus Rex said...

sounds very alchemist-esque... yet another adventure of yours that I wish I had been a part of. I can't wait to hear more about this one, for whatever reason petra and the red sea have always fascinated me.

Ireney said...

Yo travelers of the world! I can't believe that your journey is almost coming to an end. By the way, loved that recent picture of the dessert! Can't wait to see you guys. Enjoy the rest of the trip.

Amy Neal said...

That picture is fantastic! You are seriously out in the middle of nowhere!! It kinda reminds me of Arizona. haha :)