Friday, June 14, 2019

Day 4: Adventures in Wadi Rum

Day 4: The day started off like normal with a 7:00am breakfast and 8:00am departure. The hiking through Wadi Rum was spectacular--jaw dropping views in every direction for the entire day. The trail was relatively flat and easy with the most challenging part being the fine sand we had to walk over. It was like walking on a beach or a sand dune where your feet didn't really get a good grip to push off with. It wasn't hard walking... just slower than it would otherwise be on a solid surface.

Gotta get your stretches in! =)

During our lunch break, Lama gave us a short history lesson about the area.

And we finished the day's hike relatively early once again making it into camp by 1:00 in the afternoon.

We lounged around chatting for awhile, and later in the afternoon Lama led another expedition--a day hike, as it were--to see pictographs located maybe a mile off trail. Almost everyone was up for the adventure but it was entirely optional.

Unfortunately, there is a fair amount of trash laying around in Jordan. Old water bottles, plastic bags, soda cans, etc. littered the area, the one eyesore in the area. Puk from Denmark decided to do something about it, acquiring trash bags to pick up garbage along the route and soon everyone got into the spirit of picking up trash. Some people even started racing each other to be the first to grab a piece of trash from the desert floor.

Puk had extra trash bags she handed out and even people who didn't have a trash bag would pick up trash to take to someone with a trash bag. And some of the trash included plastic bags that were still in good enough condition that they were used to collect even more trash.

I'd have been curious how much trash we picked up on that mile-or-so walk because it was a substantial amount and felt good to do.

Finally we arrived at our destination: a small slot canyon in the sandstone mountains. The area was crowded with tourists--seemingly hundreds of them! Where did they all come from?! Local Bedouins saw us carrying all these bags of trash and took them off our hands thanking us for helping like that.

Then we entered the slot canyon to check out the pictographs. Parts of the canyon still had small pools of water we had to navigate through, but the biggest hurdle was just the mass of people in the small, confined space.

The rock carvings were interesting, and I imagined some desert dweller hundreds of years ago going into this canyon to escape the sun and the heat on a hot day, and carving the images into the rock out of boredom. We could see pictures of people and wondered if they were supposed to represent a specific person of the time or was just a picture of a typical person of the day.

We took a look, then turned around and headed back to the entrance of the slot canyon since it doubled as the exit as well and walked back to our campsite.

After dinner, I took my black light out for another spin, looking for scorpions under rocks and found one in about 30 seconds. Awesome! It was a beautiful specimen! We took photos and admired it, then Karolina went back to the campsite to let others know about the find in case they wanted to see the scorpion for themselves. I kept an eye on the scorpion so I'd know where it was when they returned. More than a dozen people trekked out to admire our find and take photos.

When everyone was done, we retired back to the camp where some of the local Bedouin support crew and guides entertained us with song and dance and answered questions about their way of life.

All-in-all, a very good day!

Lunch! The small print on the box of hummus amused us to no end: "better than fresh." Hahaha! That's a good one....

Water... must... have... water.....
This was an ancient road built by the Romans or something.... Definitely an old road, though!
Lama gives a short history lesson about the area during our lunch break.
Herding goats looks hard. *nodding*
The camels are always watching....

While lounging around in camp killing time, I had Karolina draw this "tattoo" on me with a Sharpie. =)
Now we're off on a day-hike to check out nearly pictographs.

Look at all the tourists! Where did they all come from?!
Lama, our fearless guide, points the way!
There were some small water obstacles in the slot canyon!
After dark, we went looking for scorpions... and found one!
He's a beauty!
This is the same scorpion, but I took this photo with a flash instead of lighting it up with a black light. You can barely see it without the black light!

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