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A day in Wadi Rum, Jordan is like stepping into another realm, the cloudless sky a piercing ice blue. The rigid mountains are limitless, the corners of one brushing the next, transferring the tranquility of the moment. The silence makes time fade into the dazzling amber sun and the marigold sand softens as it pillows your feet, each step drawing you into the alluring beauty of this place. The local Bedouin people still stare at the outstanding view, even though their ancestors have been traveling around the desert since the 14th century. Though Wadi Rum is stunning, the vast desert scares you a bit, as each step pulls you in to a land seemingly unexplored. Wadi Rum may offer gorgeous views but the welcoming people and culture is the true beauty. You are greeted by an enthusiastic guide, ready to dive into the depths of Wadi Rum with you.
First, to get to your camp, you ride in a roofless car. The sand splashes your face like a crashing wave as you bounce along the uneven sand in the rattling car. You try to speak but your words are broken into fragments like shattered glass sharp as the mountains surrounding you. The vehicle keeps leaping above the sand and, normally, this would be uncomfortable but here it feels like you’re seven again, jumping up and down on your bed. Rarely, you will run into the Bedouin, herding their goats around the few pale green shrubs. They wave to you with a smile but it is broken into little clips because you keep soaring out of your seat. The car abruptly comes to a halt showing a new landscape. Rows of sand dunes appear, each shape shifting with the wind. Your back cracks as you get out of the car and run up the sand dune as slow as a sloth.
Once on top of a sand dune, one of Wadi Rum’s several door like structures becomes visible. The mountains create a garganution arc, the curves creating edges like the spikes of a running shoe. The sun starts to hide behind a mountain, its rays glaring at you, making everything look like fire. The sky becomes a painting with vivid oranges and blues as you unwind down the mountain. As you roll down the dune, you feel protected and safe. Almost as if you are rolling out your worries and replacing them with the smooth comfort of the sand. You are racing the wind, trying to beat the frigid air being blown in your face. You giggle the whole way down and you can’t help but smile. After that electrifying experience, you drive into the striking sunset to a camp, set up much like the nomadic tents of the Bedouin people. To shield you from the crisp evening air, the Bedouins use inviting, spacious tents with black and white linear stripes. As the sky turns a coral pink and lavender purple, you sit around the lively fire. Though you’re by a fire, the air still whips your face, making you clutch the steaming cup of tea in your hands. The sweet aroma of the tea warms your heart. The glow of the fire outlines the mountains with the starry sky in full view as darkness falls. The stars glisten against the pitch black night sky.
The night is the best part of Wadi Rum, you feel the warmth of the fire and the hospitality of the singing and dancing local people. Wadi Rum transports you to one of those glistening stars.
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