August 2013
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Travel – Wadi Rum – Southern Jordan – Part 1

Wadi Rum is also referred to as The Valley of the Moon.

Overview of Wadi Rum

• It is a valley cut down from sandstone and granite stone in southern Jordan.
• It is about sixty km (37 mi) to the east of Aqaba.
• It is actually the largest wadi in Jordan.
• The name Rum most originates from an Aramaic root which means ‘high’ or ‘elevated’.
• To indicate the appropriate Arabic pronunciation, archaeologists write it as Wadi Ramm.
• Wadi Rum happens to be inhabited by numerous human societies since prehistoric periods.
• It incorporated itself with lots of cultures including the Nabateans leaving their sign in the form of rock paintings, graffiti, as well as temples.
• In the West, Wadi Rum is most widely known for the connection with British officer T. E. Lawrence.
• He routed through this area many times during Arab Revolt of 1917–18.
• In the 1980s, one among the rock formations in Wadi Rum was referred to as “The Seven Pillars of Wisdom”.
• It was named after Lawrence’s book published in the after-math of the battle.
• Though the ‘Seven Pillars’ referred in the book does not have any connection with Rum.

Geography of Wadi Rum

• The region is concentrated on the principal valley of Wadi Rum.
• The highest possible elevation in Wadi Rum is Mount Um Dami at approximately 1, 840 m.
• It was initially situated by Difallah Ateeg, a Zalabia Bedouin from Rum.
• On a clear day, you possibly can notice the Red Sea as well as the Saudi border from the top.
• Jabal Rum is about 1, 734 meters above sea level.
• It is considered to be the 2nd highest peak in Jordan.
• It is also known to be the highest peak located in the central Rum.
• It is shielded with snow and soaring directly above Rum valley contrary to Jebel um Ishrin, that is approximately 1 meter lesser.
• Khaz’ali Canyon in Wadi Rum is the place of petroglyphs engraved into the cave walls depicting human beings and antelopes dating back to the Thamudic periods.

The village of Wadi Rum by itself includes many hundred Bedouin residents with:
– their goat-hair tents
– cement houses
– 4 wheel vehicles
– 1 school for boys as well as one for girls
– a couple of shops
– head office of the Desert Patrol

Tourism in Wadi Rum

• Wadi Rum is the residence for Zalabia Bedouin who working together with climbers and trekkers has created a success of developing eco-adventure tourism, which is currently their primary income source.
• The region is currently among Jordan’s significant traveler destinations, and allures a growing number of foreign tourists, especially trekkers and climbers, but also for camel and horse safari or just day-trippers from Aqaba or Petra.
Well-known activities in the desert sand environment are:
– Camping under the stars
– Riding Arab horses
– Hiking
– Rock-climbing among the massive rock formations.
• Dima and Lama Hattab organize a yearly marathon in the area called Jabal Ishrin.

Best time to visit / climate

• While traveling to Wadi Rum, make sure you bring something cozy to wear overnight as temperatures can differ from a daytime average of 32°C right down to 4°C during the night.
• Jordan has a sunny, dry weather characterized by lengthy, hot, dry summers as well as brief, cool winters.
• The weather is based on Jordan’s placement between the subtropical aridity of the Arabian Desert locations along with the subtropical humidity of the eastern Mediterranean region.
• January is the coldest month, with temperature ranges from 5°C to 10°C, and August is the hottest time of the year at 20°C to 35°C.
• Regular temperatures can be quite hot, particularly in the summer; on certain days it could be 40°C or higher, particularly when the Shirocco , a hot , dry southerly wind flies .
• These kind of winds can often be quite strong that will result in Sandstorms.
• Around 70 % of the regular rainfall in the country falls between November and then March; June through August tend to rain less.
• Rainfall differs from season to season and also from year to year.
• Precipitation is usually targeted in aggressive storms, leading to erosion as well as local flooding, particularly in the winter season.

Location on Google Maps

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How to get there?

• Wadi Rum is a brief detour from the Desert Highway between Amman and also Aqaba.
• A side path ends up in the entrance where you can see the Wadi Rum Visitors Centre, a law enforcement office along with a wide range of potential guides providing camel and also 4×4 treks.
• The price to enter Wadi Rum Protected Area is five Jordanian Dinars (JD) per individual, as of May 2012.
• The majority of buses that travel the highway between Aqaba as well as Petra will be able to drop you at the intersection to Wadi Rum.
• Once at the intersection, you could hitch hike or take on another minibus (1 or 2JD) to the Visitor’s Centre where you could meet the guide.
• The final leg of the trip does not cost more than 5JD per individual.

1. By flight
• Jordan’s nationwide airline is Royal Jordanian Airlines.
Additionally, Jordan is operated by several foreign carriers such as:
– British Airways
– Air Baltic
– Lufthansa
– Delta Airlines
– Emirates
– Turkish Airlines
– Egypt Air
– Alitalia
– Air France
• Low-priced airline Air Arabia flies between Jordan and locations throughout the Middle East.
• United Kingdom based airline easy Jet has introduced plans to fly 3 times per week from London Gatwick to Amman from March 2011, cutting the price of reaching the Middle East from the United Kingdom considerably.
• Queen Alia International Airport is the country’s primary airport terminal.
• It happens to be 35km southern of Amman (on the primary route to Aqaba).
• It takes around 45 minutes to reach the airport terminal from the down-town Amman, around thirty minutes from West Amman.
• Transportation into Amman is given by the Royal Jordanian bus services to the city terminal close to the 7th circle, or by taxi (around twenty JD, intended to be fixed).

Along with Queen Alia, Jordan has 2 other international airport terminals:
– Marka International Airport in East Amman assists routes to neighboring Middle Eastern countries, along with internal flights to Aqaba
– King Hussein International Airport terminal in Aqaba.

2. By train
• The last functioning section of the well-known Hejaz Railway, twice-weekly trains used to turn up from Damascus (Syria) at Amman’s Mahatta junction just north-east of the down-town region, in close proximity to Marka Airport.
• But, services have already been cancelled since mid-2006 because of damage to the tracks, and it’s uncertain as to when they would resume.
• Even though they were running, trains consumed an incredibly long nine hours (significantly slower as compared to driving), and offered an awfully low standard of comfort.
• There are no additional passenger trains in Jordan.

3. By bus
• Long-distance providers run from several Middle Eastern locations including Tel Aviv and Damascus.

4. By boat
• Jordan could be entered at the harbor of Aqaba via the Egyptian port of Nuweiba.
• There are 2 providers, ferry and speedboat.
• Be prepared to shell out around $30 for the ferry.
• It can even cost around $60 for the speedboat (each one way).
• Egyptians are not expected to shell out the prices increased by the authorities.
• The slow-moving ferry could take up to eight hours that can be a challenge in bad weather.
• The speedboat regularly makes the crossing in approximately one hour, although boarding as well as disembarking delays can also add several hours, particularly since there can be no set hours for departures.
• You cannot purchase the ticket beforehand and the ticket office would not be familiar with the time of departure.
• It is possible to lose a whole afternoon and even a day awaiting the boat to leave.
• UPDATE: selling prices have risen.
• The speedboat is currently $70 and the ferry is $60 (+$10 or 50 EGP departure tax from Egypt).

Some Travel Books about Czech Republic

Treks and Climbs in Wadi Rum, Jordan Jordan Travel Pack, 3rd The Rough Guide to Jordan

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

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Blogs/Sites about Wadi Rum-Jordan

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Images and photos about Wadi Rum-Jordan

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Videos about Wadi Rum-Jordan

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