Before meeting my husband Omar, I had never heard of Jordan or knew that it was a country in the Middle East! It just goes to show you that as human beings we are constantly learning something new.
When I planned to visit Omar in Jordan, I was so excited to learn about his culture and where he grew up. The Middle East, particularly in today’s society with recent events has received a bad reputation. Hence why I was keen to discover for myself the ins and outs of Jordan.
I have been reminiscing about walking through the food markets in Wasat Al Balad and riding a horse, a donkey and a camel through the narrow archways of the mountain walls in Petra. More importantly, I will never forget the day Omar took me on an adventure to Wadi Rum, one of the main tourist attractions in Jordan consisting of 720 square kilometers of red desert.
Wadi Rum also known as the “Valley of the Moon” refers to the series of valleys, mountains and riddled cliffs scattered throughout the hot blazing desert. Wadi Rum is also known for its connection with Lawrence of Arabia who passed through the valley several times during the Arab Revolt in 1916.
It was a day to remember. We hopped in the car with a container full of my mother in law’s homemade spring rolls and sambousek to munch on whilst we set off for our journey.
Despite getting lost in the middle of the desert and driving off the road onto soft sand, we finally reached our destination. We arrived at a Bedouin campsite where we sat in a nomadic stretch tent and drank hot Arabic coffee.
The desert and its mountains never cease to amaze me. We climbed onto the back of a ute and hung on tight whilst travelling up and down the rugged sand hills.
We made a pit stop to admire the view of the valley and I discovered just how difficult it was to walk up a steep hill of sand!
Our tour guide demonstrated how they used plants from the desert to make a natural herbal soap. He took a few sprigs of shrub and started rubbing his hands back and forth. Once the plant was fragrant, a helper starting pouring water over his hands and suddenly the plant started to lather up just like soap. It was incredible!
Our tour guide demonstrated how Bedouins used the plants from the desert to make a natural herbal soap. He took a few sprigs of shrub and started rubbing his hands back and forth. What you see next is incredible! #wadirum #soap #naturalsoap #herbs #shrubs #adventure #bedouins #jordan #amazing #nature #husband #live #life #love #memories #daytoremember #fun #travel
We had a laugh taking “tourist shots” of us holding up our hands whilst our leader held a rock in front of the camera so that we looked like we were holding up one on the mountains.
From a rocky cliff there was the most gorgeous view of two mountain walls closing in on one another with the desert in the background. We gazed into the distance and tried to capture the perfect jumping “Toyota” shot!
Before setting off to catch the sunset, our leader smeared some red sand onto my cheeks and forehead whilst informing us that Bedouin women used the sand as a form of makeup.
Dozens of utes full of people raced to make it in time for the sunset. We climbed up a jagged mountain, sat down and dangled our legs off the edge of the cliff. Staring off into the horizon was a lovely way to relax and forget about life for just a moment.
We made it back to camp and gazed up into the sky to witness a galaxy of stars shine bright in the darkness. We sipped on a hot cup of herbal tea in the cool air and enjoyed the sound of traditional Bedouin music playing in the background.
Our leader called us over to witness the unveiling of our dinner called “Zarb”, which is a traditional Jordanian dish that consists of either lamb or chicken with a few herbs, spices and rice. It is cooked for about 4-6 hours and sits on top of hot wood in an underground oven.
We gathered around and watched as the men scrapped away a pile of sand to reveal a large square in the ground. As they lifted the cloth and foil off from the oven, a huge pile of smoke dispersed into the air. They pulled out trays of roast vegetables, meat and rice. The smell was divine!
The food was so delicious that we went back for seconds! A slice of coconut cake was succulently moist and the perfect way to end a meal.
The night was full of fun and laughter. Everyone had big smiles on their faces. I enjoyed watching Omar and the group join arms in a circle and dance the “dabka” a traditional Jordanian dance which involves stamping one’s feet.
The one thing that has stayed with me since coming back from Jordan is the friendly community. Everyone treats you like you are apart of their family and welcomes you with open arms. It is a beautiful thing to see in this world.
Omar and I returned to the car, turned the music up and drove home along the desert highway. It was a memorable day, one that I will never forget.