The wisdom trail: 11-day hiking tour to Petra and Wadi Rum

 ‘Rum the magnificent… vast, echoing and Godlike… a processional way greater than imagination… the crimson sunset burned on its stupendous cliffs and slanted ladders of hazy fire down its walled avenue…’

Those were the words used by Lawrence of Arabia to describe the timeless, silent and vast place of Wadi Rum. And not without reason. Wadi Rum is one of the most impressive places of Jordan, a place where you can dwell for days without meeting anybody besides maybe a Bedouin family sitting in its goat’s wool tent in the rose-red desert sand. And sometimes the odd family of camels. Apart from that you are surrounded by sky-high cliffs of rose-red sandstone rock.

What better way is there to experience this natural beauty than the way people have been doing this for centuries? From the Stone Age on people have been crossing Wadi Rum on bare feet, and sometimes on camel back. Our 11-day wisdom trail offers you a unique chance to leave all the stress of everyday western life behind you and find peace and quietness once again. Imagine yourself being a spice merchant, travelling through the desert to your next trading post. Experience the friendly hospitality of the Huweitat and the Mzanah, the Bedouin tribes who have lived in Wadi Rum for centuries. Enjoy the taste of their traditional Arabic meals. And read the inscriptions left behind as silent evidence of cultures gone. “Whoever walks the desert is no longer the person he was.”

 

Day 1  Flight to Amman and transfer to your hotel in Petra, where you will have dinner and stay overnight.

 

Day 2  In the morning a local guide will escort you into Petra and show you the highlights of the Nabatean city. You will enter the city through the Siq, the narrow gorge and be rewarded with the most astonishing and dramatic monument in Jordan: the Treasury. You will also visit the theatre, the tombs and façades and the colonnaded street.

 In the afternoon you may wander around in Petra and explore the area for yourself. You may climb the stairs to the Monastery and admire the splendid view over the Wadi Araba. Or walk all the way up to the High Place of Sacrifice and see the obelisks which are believed to represent the most important Nabatean gods, Dushara and Al ‘Uzza. In the evening dinner will be prepared for you at a campfire in the prehistoric site of Little Petra, accompanied by traditional Jordanian folklore.

 

Day 3 - 10  Early in the morning you will be transferred to Wadi Rum by bus or jeep. You pass the seven pillars of wisdom, from which the world-famous book of Lawrence of Arabia derives its title. The Wisdom Trail will start from the visitor’s centre. The program will offer you a great variety of activities in the open air. On the first day you will hike through one of the famous canyons of the Wadi Rum area, the Wadi Umm Ishreen, Arabic for ‘mother of twenty’. By the way, ‘wadi’ is the Arabic word for dry riverbed. You will see Lawrence of Arabia’s house as well as Thamudic and Nabatean inscriptions made centuries ago. You will walk through an area with giant sand dunes. Your campsite will be at the base of Jabal Barrah.On the next day you will cross the Barrah Gorge, a deep and narrow canyon stretching out for kilometres on end. In the campsite at the end of the canyon you can enjoy a well-deserved rest near the campfire. On day 5 you will continue the hiking tour to Jabal Burdah and climb one of the famous rock bridges in Wadi Rum, sculpted into the sandstone rock by the wind and rain. The Wisdom Trail continues to Siq Nanghrah and next to Umm Adaami, the highest mountain in Jordan (1830 meters). On the next day you will climb the mountain, a marvellous experience. On day 8 you will walk to the red sand area, a place where you can contemplate the silence on top of the sky-high sand dunes, beautifully set against the eroded rocks. The next day takes you to the Sunset Area to watch the crimson colours of the desert sunset and enjoy a traditional Bedouin dinner accompanied by traditional music and dancing. On the last day you will hike back to the visitor’s centre, from where the bus will take you to Amman. This last night you will have ample opportunity to explore Jordan’s capital, enjoy dinner in one of the many restaurants and visit some of the highlights of the city.

 

Day 11  You will be transferred to the airport and fly back home.

Desert paramours Trek and Travel, Petra - Jordan

Wadi Mousa - Tourist St. P.O.Box: 143, Zip: 718111, Tel: 00962 777 282 730, Fax: 00962 3 2155 955, E-mail: info@desertparamours.com, www.desertparamours.com