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Wadi Rum from Aqaba - 8 April 2014

Wadi Rum from Aqaba - 8 April 2014

Postby Wansbrough » 25 Apr 2014 10:19

Long before we knew we were going to Aqaba, we had booked a tour from Safaga with Memphis Tours to go to the Valley of the Kings, Safaga being on the original itinerary . When the ships schedule was changed the agent very quickly let me know that Memphis Tours also did tours from Aqaba so feeling sorry that the Egyptian company were going to lose not only our trade but a few others we decided to stick with them.
We opted for the full day excursion to Petra & Wadi Rum as a private tour with just the 2 of us.
We were met on the dockside by the agent and paid off the balance of our tour in GBP which in itself was rather odd. Obviously our currency is now being deemed a safe one as we have in the past often used USD for means of payment.
After being introduced to our driver Joseph we were soon making our way through Aqaba to join Highway 15 which is also known as the Desert Highway and after about an hours drive we made a quick stop to view Wadi Rum Station. The station has signs up saying it was built in 1916 and sat on the track just in front is an old steam train complete with carriages. The train is more recent than the station but even so it does look very authentic and you instantly think of the film Lawrence of Arabia




Wadi Rum Station


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On our way again to Wadi Rum Visitor Centre


We continued our journey for another 20-30 minutes or so until we came to the Wadi Rum Visitor Centre where Joseph parked up and went off to organise our 4x4 tour of Wadi Rum. Soon after we were introduced to our driver, a Bedouin who went by the name of Abdul and once again we were on the move and on our way into the protected area of Wadi Rum.

Our first stop was an area called Lawrences Springs where Adbul parked up and pointed up to an area quite high up in the side of a hill where there were trees growing. This was were it is reportedly where Lawrence of Arabia washed during the Arab Revolt. We climbed some of the way up but never made up to the top.




Furthering our journey into Wadi Rum we crossed the desert passing camels and other 4X4's along the way until we reached an area where there were other vehicles parked up and close by was a huge red sand dune which when we were stood at the bottom seemed to go forever. Again I climbed some of the way up but eventually gave up as it was extremely hard work in the heat. From my vantage point there were some more stunning views of the area which is quite breathtaking.






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After I had returned to ground level Abdul ushered us over to canvas topped building where we were treated to a nice cup of Bedouin tea which was actually really nice. It contained additional herbs and spices which to me almost made it taste like there was a tot of whiskey in it. Mrs W took the opportunity to purchase some Amber cream and lumps of amber which the Bedouin ladies use as a perfume. With the aromatic woody smoke from the fire and the cool breeze blowing under the canvas it was a really pleasant place to sit and drink the tea. Lots of the other drivers came in and sat chatting and drinking their tea while the other passengers all intermingled were all excitedly telling of their experiences of Wadi Rum.





Next stop was Khazali canyon which is a narrow fissure in the side of one of the mountains, there is a large rock in front of the entrance with 2 trees one of which is growing out of the rock.
The narrow canyon contains some ancient rock inscriptions which were told to look out for on the way in. By all accounts there are three types of inscriptions Nabataean, Islamic and Thamudic. The Nabataean inscriptions consists of mountains goats, people, camels, horses, feet and spirits. We spotted some of these but there are also some more recent ones which sort of spoil it. The rocks are quite slippy in places but again it gives you a real feeling of being somewhere really special.

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This was to be our final area of the visit but Wadi Rum will be etched in our memories for a long long time. There are plenty of other areas which we didn't have time to see which just means we will have to go back! If you are ever in Aqaba I would urge you to go and see for yourself as it is a magical place.

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Its one of the most stunning places I have ever visited.




Below is a slide show of my photos of the visit.

And for Apple users.... :roll: >>>A LINK HERE<<<

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Wadi Rum from Aqaba - 8 April 2014

Postby Gillzajoker » 25 Apr 2014 11:34

Stunning pics. - would like to see it for myself!
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Wadi Rum from Aqaba - 8 April 2014

Postby octocruiser » 25 Apr 2014 11:54

We did Wadi Rum from Aqaba with a small group of other passengers who had opted to spend 3 days in Aqaba prior to joining Spirit of Adventure there.

We also found it a magical place, with an atmosphere you could almost cut with a knife. We were so glad we had taken this opportunity to go there as part of a small group rather than among several coach loads off the ship later.

What about Petra? I took your meaning as being a trip to both destinations on the same day - which would be some undertaking - or did you do it separately ?

Cheers Kath
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Wadi Rum from Aqaba - 8 April 2014

Postby Wansbrough » 25 Apr 2014 12:01

octocruiser wrote:We did Wadi Rum from Aqaba with a small group of other passengers who had opted to spend 3 days in Aqaba prior to joining Spirit of Adventure there.

We also found it a magical place, with an atmosphere you could almost cut with a knife. We were so glad we had taken this opportunity to go there as part of a small group rather than among several coach loads off the ship later.

What about Petra? I took your meaning as being a trip to both destinations on the same day - which would be some undertaking - or did you do it separately ?

Cheers Kath

Patience Kath! One thing at a time please. I am but a man and multi tasking we do not do. ;). I will hopefully get a chance to do Petra over the coming week.

Yes we did both in same day and were away from the ship for over 12 hours. We only spent a couple of hours at Wadi which wasn't really long enough.
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Wadi Rum from Aqaba - 8 April 2014

Postby octocruiser » 25 Apr 2014 12:12

My apologies, Wansbrough, I was so entranced by your pictures and description of Wadi that I was impatient to read your experience of Petra :lol:

I fully understand your situation, and will wait patiently for the next episode.

How many camels were you offered for your wife, by the way. ? I was quite miffed that Mr Octo seemed prepared to accept just the one :roll: When I expressed my disapproval he said he had decided one was enough as he didn't have space for any more.

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Re: Wadi Rum from Aqaba - 8 April 2014

Postby JollyJill » 25 Apr 2014 12:48

What a memorable trip W and that is without the visit to Petra. As you said that you did both in one day, maybe we will do the same when we visit Aqaba in 2016, although on checking our itinerary, we are there for 2 days.
Stunning photos as always. :)
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Wadi Rum from Aqaba - 8 April 2014

Postby Wansbrough » 25 Apr 2014 13:03

octocruiser wrote:My apologies, Wansbrough, I was so entranced by your pictures and description of Wadi that I was impatient to read your experience of Petra :lol:

I fully understand your situation, and will wait patiently for the next episode.

How many camels were you offered for your wife, by the way. ? I was quite miffed that Mr Octo seemed prepared to accept just the one :roll: When I expressed my disapproval he said he had decided one was enough as he didn't have space for any more.

Cheers Kath


Not a problem Kath. I always try to add as much info as possible but at the same time get impatient to get it all done. I am learning to do these reviews in stages and saving them as drafts.

I wasn't offered any camels for Mrs W but would have considered any reasonable offer. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Wadi Rum from Aqaba - 8 April 2014

Postby Wansbrough » 25 Apr 2014 13:07

JollyJill wrote:What a memorable trip W and that is without the visit to Petra. As you said that you did both in one day, maybe we will do the same when we visit Aqaba in 2016, although on checking our itinerary, we are there for 2 days.
Stunning photos as always. :)


Its a long day to do both and Petra is much further away. I wish we had overnighted in Aqaba instead of moving to Eilat the next day.
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Re: Wadi Rum from Aqaba - 8 April 2014

Postby JollyJill » 25 Apr 2014 13:30

Wansbrough wrote:
JollyJill wrote:What a memorable trip W and that is without the visit to Petra. As you said that you did both in one day, maybe we will do the same when we visit Aqaba in 2016, although on checking our itinerary, we are there for 2 days.
Stunning photos as always. :)


Its a long day to do both and Petra is much further away. I wish we had overnighted in Aqaba instead of moving to Eilat the next day.


Thanks for that W. Maybe we would be better to do Wadi Rum on one day and Petra another then.
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Wadi Rum from Aqaba - 8 April 2014

Postby judgegeoff » 25 Apr 2014 13:53

Fantastic photos Mike, thanks very much. One of my all time favourite films is "Lawrence of Arabia" (I saw it in the cinema, then bought the VHS cassette, followed by the DVD and now the Blu-Ray) and would love to see the area for myself. :D
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