To the Red Sea

Forgive the gap of a day, but there’s no Wi-Fi in the middle of a desert. One that still echos with the ghost of T E Lawrence – better known as Lawrence of Arabia.

But l get ahead of myself, as yesterday started by swapping the wonders of Petra for ‘Little Petra’ an ancient service station for the camel caravans that were not allowed to rest up in the main city.

Little Petra

Lots of rock carved ‘hospitality suites’ and just down the road, one of the biggest underground wells l have ever come across for storing fresh water.

Underground well
Cave carved hospitality complete with stone benches!

Then on to Wadi Rum – one of Jordan’s most speculate natural environments. Wadi means valley and this one offers one of the easiest and safest glimpses of the desert in the region.

With its many wells and springs Wadi Rum has been inhabited since prehistoric times with plenty of rock carving to bear witness.

Here, temperature’s are extreme in summer and bitterly cold in winter. With its spectacular rock formations and red sand it’s no surprise there is a comparison with the red planet. They filmed The Martian here.

They also filmed Lawrence of Arabia in situ with Peter O’Toole – trained as an actor in Bristol too!

The real adventurer stayed here in 1917 during the Arab Revolt – against the Ottoman Turks in which Lawrence was involved.

You park up at the entrance and transfer to a 4WD which takes you off on a bumpy and sand-blown tour of some of the sights before dumping you at your preferred overnight stay.

You can rest in a Bedouin camp but my days of staying in goat hair tents are over.

Our accommodation was a geodesic dome where you could lie in bed and watch the stars – undisturbed by light pollution.

Our camp was Memories Aicha Luxury Camp and our accommodation a Panoramic Tent.

Great experience. Next morning our driver set off on the Desert Road towards Aqaba and our stayover by the Red Sea – so named after the colour of the coral you’ll find there.

We were staying at the Kempinski Hotel overlooking the sea and part of the beach resort of Aqaba.

It’s warm here and that’s probably why its a popular place for visitors from home and abroad.

You lie out on your beach lounger and look across the narrow strip of water towards the Israeli coast and the town of Eilat just 5 km away. Glass bottomed boats pass by blaring out loud music. I would be surprised if they see many fish.

Another great sunset and the chance to get some stronger antibiotics from a local pharmacy. Under ten dinar too! Less than the price of two milk shakes.

Off to the Dead Sea tomorrow. Goodnight from our hotel.