After a pretty splendid nights sleep in the desert (pretty sure I was asleep before my head hit the pillow and my only complaint would be that the pillow was too hard!), we woke up to an overcast day. This felt appropriate for our mood at having to say farewell to Dawson this morning as he had to return to work-related reality as well as our other three friends from yesterday.
Incidentally, he also runs a travel blog which you may care to check out: DawsonOliverTheWorld.com.
Another excellent play on words, sir and making me think I’m going to have to spring to go full on .com instead of the loser .WordPress.com! 😉
The breakfast at camp was really simple and could use some tweaking (some fresh fruit perhaps!) but certainly filled a void. I’m just realizing that the pita is ubiquitous to meals in Jordan as kimchi is to Korea, and for someone who is not generally a bread products fan, this is tough. I’d definitely recommend bringing snacks and possibly speaking with the staff about dietary needs prior to arrival if you truly have an allergy or special food need. It’s easy to eat vegetarian but not vegan or gluten-free here.
The game plan for our second day with Ayed was to climb Umm Ad Dami(1,854m), the highest peak in Jordan, from which you can see Saudi Arabia and if it’s clear, the Red Sea. Clearly, this is not the highest peak I’ve ever climbed but combine it with a very scrambly, quickly ascending non-trail and the after effects of Petra hiking and arch hiking the two days previous and you’ve got two weary white girls hauling their butts at a snail’s pace, thinking death must be near. Meanwhile, a few feet ahead, our chainsmoking guide springs nimbly ahead like it ain’t no thang. 😧
We did make it up and it turns out the overcast nature of the day actually ended up working out for us as it wasn’t so hot to hike in. The 360° view from the top and the cute little rodents who live at the top were worth it. The title of today’s post comes from an exchange at the top of this mountain…
Me: (grumbly unintelligible sounds related to the photo I’d just taken)
Ayed: “Did you hear that sound? That’s a camel!”
Me: “Actually….that was me.” (And I don’t think you can hear camels 1,854m plus away)
Leah: (cracking up)
Ayed: “Oh…..you’re a camel! Just a baby camel ok?”
Leah: (still cracking up) “A baby camel…!!!”
It was pretty funny.
Having made it down safely, we drove to our lunch spot where we promptly fell asleep on the picnic mat while poor Ayed prepared lunch. Mad props to Ayed for his desert driving skills btw. Really very well done!
As we were having lunch it started to look as if a storm was rolling in and indeed it did. We were happy about this for three reasons, 1. To brighten up the desert colours 2. To hopefully settle the sand in the air for a better sunset and 3. Because it’s easier to drive in the slightly wet sand (guess whose reason this was!). Also quite pleasing was the fact that the actual rain avoided our little site all together.
While we slept, Ayed had caught us a scorpion (in a water bottle) in addition to cooking lunch. It was a small yellow one, which are apparently more dangerous than the black ones. Ayed told us they eat sand (which I think was pulling our legs) and are nocturnal usually. He put one of the black beetles that profusely populate the desert in with it but the beetle and the scorpion were so disinterested in one another it was quite funny. They were lying on one another, walking past one another….might as well have been besties!
Lunch and nap time done with, we headed to see some more sights of the desert, including another natural spring/aquafer, an ingenious dam built in to the side of the desert cliffs to catch rainwater, and another cool arch which looks like a crocodiles head if you stand in the center, forming a pupil.
We headed off to try and catch a sunset and Ayed kindly brewed up a pot of tea to enjoy. It wasn’t looking hopeful but we did end up getting a sunset! The sun kind of slipped behind some cloud but emerged out the bottom quite brilliantly. So we had some fun with it…
Another full day done with, we set off back to camp for a (cold!!) shower and supper. We met a lovely Australian couple who helped me convince Leah that we should include Bhutan in our next trip too (thanks!). Another perfect desert day.