Wadi = dried up river bed
Rum = sweet alcoholic spirit that reminds me of a beach / Arabic meaning ‘wonderful’
Wadi Rum = Jordans best-kept secret, the locals know it, our local guide Issam waxed lyrical about how Petra is nothing compared to Wadi Rum and that all the locals believe it is a magical place in Jordan. We rolled our eyes at each other, assuming he was exaggerating, how could it be better than Petra?! A UNESCO World Heritage and legendary site that tourists, archaeologists, people from all walks of life rave about and travel thousands of miles to see?! Well, he was right, it was better.
Don’t misunderstand, Petra also is incredible. How the Nabataeans carved a huge city out of the rocks is beyond belief (and it really is huge the size of the complex astounded me!). The place has its own beauty with the different coloured rocks and even the guys trying to sell you crap and camel rides adds something special, allows you to almost imagine the bustling busy town it once was. But Petra is for another blogpost, here I will talk about the very underrated and must-see Wadi Rum and how if you find a good guide you can be one the lucky visitors who gets to experience this beautiful part of Jordan.
Getting to Wadi Rum
There is no public transportation and I would not recommend trying to get there yourself. Wadi Rum is waaay out in the middle of the nowhere desert, getting lost could be fatal. Take a guide, I recommend Issam
My family and I were a group of 7, so we got there on the back of a Toyota Hilux pick-up truck and it. was. awesome! The track through the desert is a soft-sand, bumpy, 4×4 track, it helps to have a Beduin driver who knows the track inside out, we were avoiding jutting rocks and camels with ease as we sped toward the vast openness of desert.
What to see
We had just 3 hours here, but you could easily spend a day or even 2 or 3 exploring the area. There’s the different rock formations, some shaped into huge arches, some look like mushrooms. Rock art left over by the nomads who roamed the desert thousands of years ago, YOu can even walk in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia. He was here and picked a lovely bit of real estate (if not a bit small) to stay in. A cave with easy access to sand that is used for women’s blusher and an excellent and very fun echo game.