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Al 'Aqabah, Jordan

Fri May 13. Docked late yesterday evening because the ship had to slow to 16 knots,one of four generators malfunctioned.The part was supposed to arrive in Aqaba but I don't think it did.Noone saw any activity and the part was large,so I'm told.All excursions for
yesterday were transferred to today.I took "Lawrence of Arabia's Wadi Rum"and enjoyed it very much.
Jordan has 6 million people and they love their king,Abdullah,the son of King Faisal and an Englishwoman,Toni Gardner,who became Queen Mouna.She still lives here.
The desert has deep valleys and mountains and it was here that T.E.Lawrence united the Arab tribes to fight the Turks and the film "Lawrence of Arabia" was made in Wadi Rum.
We got into jeeps,4 to a jeep,and were driven across the desert.

This was different from
Fujairah which had soft sand dunes.Here the sand was stony with high cliffs all around.It was very romantic.We stopped at a Bedouin camp and several of us rode camels.

You have to hold on to the front and back of the saddle as the camel stands up otherwise you are pitched forward.It is not the most comfortable ride as the camel moves both legs on the same side together and you have to keep a good grip on the pommel horn.We drove over some dunes and I put some reddish sand in a ziplock bag.

Our camel ride was a mile,about 20 mins.We had tea and coffee at a large Bedouin camp where people can stay.The entrance to the tents with the toilets was interesting.

The face of T.E.Lawrence was carved into a rock and there was some ancient rock painting

This area was under water millenia ago and there is a water table that the Bedouins know how to tap close to the surface.A project is underway to pipe the water to Amman,which apparently has no access to water.
Before we got back in our jeeps the drivers did a song and dance and invited people to join them.
We saw camels with babies and were able to pet the babies who were curious about us.

permalink written by  edoyle on May 13, 2011 from Al 'Aqabah, Jordan
from the travel blog: World Cruise
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