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Of silence and stars

Suggestions from Wadi Rum

[Tripper: Paola]
ITMovimento lentoWadi Rum

Feeling tiny inside the silence of the night, in the presence of the firmament, is a moment. Imagine observing those bright dots that draw geometries with imaginative names, lying comfortably in a bed. The thought that recurs more than others is: are we really alone in the galaxy?
A night spent in the desert is an experience to do at least once. For us it is not the first, but the same thing happens every time: the mind seems to free itself of trappings and wanders free without restraint, imagining other worlds, with creatures that somewhere ask themselves the same questions that we ask ourselves.

Il campo nel deserto

Camp in the desert

Il campo di notte

The camp at night

The camp that hosts us this time is in Wadi Rum, the desert valley south of Jordan, loved by filmmakers for its lunar views. It is no coincidence that the local population also uses to call it Wadi al-qamar, a name that means Valley of the Moon. These windswept lands, bordered by the unmistakable contours of its granite mountains, have provided settings for several films: from Lawrence of Arabia back in 1962 to the most recent Transformer and Star Wars, with the Rogue One spin-off.
Whether you are fond of film sets or not, the beauty of this landscape will not escape you. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011, fortunately, projects for the protection of its delicate habitat were started several years earlier, in order to protect it from the neglect of human action that is often not very conscious and careless.
To reach the various camps located in the desert (there are really a little too many), the local Bedouins drive pick-up jeeps with the rear body used for passenger transport. It is not very easy to get on, but this is also part of the experience.
The ride up to the field is bumpy and dusty but quite fun.
Our driver is called Ibrahim, he says he is eighteen, but he looks fifteen. Before leaving the cluster of houses that serve as the gateway to the desert, he stops to buy us some water. He is working for his tip but is not intrusive. He knows few words of English, but has an extraordinarily white and equally loving smile. We understand each other by gestures and that's all it takes.
The camp, despite the high-sounding name (Wadi Rum night luxury camp), cannot be defined as luxurious, in the etymological sense of the term.
We are in the desert, of course, you can't expect too much, but we have still experienced better fields than this, in other deserts. I'm talking purely about attention to detail and opulence, because what remains luxurious in this context, perhaps even more in keeping with the roughness of the surrounding environment, is experience.
Sleeping under the stars, in a bubble made transparent towards the celestial vault is something difficult to describe.
I could tell you how difficult it is to fall asleep due to the constant desire to sweep your eyes left and right, in search of yet another shooting star.
I could tell you how, once you are asleep, something prompts you to reopen your eyes to surprise yourself again and again, until the first light of dawn that gives color to the shapes.
I would always be far from telling you everything.
The bubbles, for those who ask, have a personal bathroom with shower, the bed is a real bed, not a camping mat, and there is even air conditioning, because here in Wadi Rum, at night, the temperatures remain quite mild.
We dine in the common tent, an experience, for us, quite disappointing but it was really a detail, because what remains in the mind is something else.
They are shoes full of sand, almost a metaphor of the desert that enters you; are the colors that change based on where you look, based on the time of day; they are rocky shapes that you would never stop photographing, it is the waiting for the sunset sitting on a surprisingly cold sand, silent but somehow connected; are the traces of ancient humanity that inhabited these lands well before the Anno Domini: the ingenious Nabataeans, who built their capital in the extraordinary Petra.
Everywhere there is suggestion, which helps to make us feel witnesses of the passage of a superior design.
You will love it!
Have a good trip!

(The desert experience is an integral part of a more comprehensive tour provided by the Jordanian operator Trip500, whom we thank for organizing.)

Tende a bolla

Bubble Tent

Dentro la bolla

Inside the bubble tent

Noi sull

We on the rocky arch

Aspettando il tramonto

Waiting for the sunset

In collaboration with con

faqScopri di più

Q. From which locations can Wadi Rum be visited?
A. Wadi Rum is about 60 km from Aqaba and 112 km from Petra, which can be done in the day with an overnight stay in the desert if you start from Petra, even with return if you start from Aqaba. From Amman it is more than a 4 hour drive so rather not recommended.

Q. Can I walk around Wadi Rum?
A. Wadi Rum stretches over 720 km² and like all deserts walking around it is highly discouraged. The local Bedouins will still be able to accompany you either by jeep or by camels for the more limited journeys.

Q. Can you buy water in Wadi Rum?
A. The desert camps are equipped with everything and it is possible to buy drinks. However if you buy them outside the Wadi Rum area they will cost you much less.

Q. Is there vegetation in Wadi Rum?
A. Wadi Rum has a rare and endemic flora, consisting of shrubs and herbs. It is also easy to find the red anemone, Jordan's national flower. Furthermore, it seems that the red earth of the desert offers the best water melon of Jordan.

Q. What currency is used in Jordan?
A. Jordan's official currency is the Jordanian dinar referred to as the JOD

Q. Is it necessary to leave a tip to the Bedouin drivers and to those who unload their luggage at the camp?
A. While not strictly necessary, it is a good idea to tip 1 or 2 JOD.