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Rates starts at 1099 US $ per person

 

Accommodation
In the desert when we camp, tents are available but most people choose to join the Bedouin and
sleep out under the desert stars. For our two nights in Aqaba we stay in a comfortable hotel with
traditional Arabic decor, arched balconies and inner courtyards. It has a swimming pool, bar and
restaurant. The hotel also has a beach club a few kms out of town offering easy access to a
fringe reef with superb snorkelling and scuba diving. Facemasks, snorkels and flippers are
available for hire and there is also a restaurant and swimming pool at the club. On arrival on Day
1 we stay in a comfortable hotel in Amman or maybe
nearby Madaba.

     
 

Meals
On trek we provide all meals and we are happy to cater for
vegetarians. The desert experience with our Bedouin
friends is quite authentic. We eat communal meals cooked
and prepared over an open fire, a variety of rich vegetarian
tagines, unleavened bread and dips and barbecued or
stewed lamb/goat or chicken. Water must be carried and
used sparingly. Hot showers do not feature here but there
will be enough water for washing. The pace of life slows
down and the Bedouin way is to enjoy the time for talking
together, sleeping, eating and relaxation.
We stay overnight in or near to Amman on arrival and end
in Aqaba for two nights where we provide bed and
breakfast only. For other meals in town you have the
chance to sample some of the local fare at the many
restaurants, or you can eat ‘buffet style’ in the hotel in
Aqaba where the food is excellent.

 
     
 

Transport
We use a private bus, 4-wheel drive truck and camels.

 
     
 

Safety
Jordan is a safe place. Crime is virtually non-existent and the people are friendly. We doubt that
events in other parts of the Middle East will affect the way you will be treated. Jordan remains as
peaceful and welcoming as always.

 
     
 

Health and hygiene
Very few people who go to Jordan experience any kind of illness. This may be due in part to the
sterile desert environment. On trek we eat plenty of salads – the food is good. Water is at a
premium in the desert but we allow enough to drink 4 litres a day and a bit more to wash in.

 
 

Money
The local currency is the Jordanian Dinar (JD).We suggest you buy some before travelling as
ATMs are unlikely to be seen before Aqaba. You will little cash in the desert, except perhaps tips
for your local guide, catering crew and camel boys.

 
     
 

Baggage
On most days you will only carry what you need for the day, probably water, a light snack, a
climbing harness, helmet and your camera. Darkness comes suddenly in the desert and a torch
High Places 4 Jordan: Scrambles in Wadi Rum – a3
is a useful addition to your daysack. Your sleeping gear and personal effects will transported
daily by vehicle.

 

jordan - trekking and scrambling amongst the sandstone peaks of wadi rum:

 

 

The scrambling on this trip is reasonably ‘full on’ with most days being close or above a scrambling Grade 3 rating. There is nothing reckless however - the sandstone rock is so ‘grippy.’ and most of the lines we follow are traditional Bedouin hunting routes up weaknesses in the massifs. At no time in the ascents is anything pitched but ropes will be carried and on one or two of the exposed traverses, a hand-line may be rigged to clip into. It is a real delight to scramble
here but it does require confidence and good balance and some of the situations will be dramatic. In descent there will be a number of abseils, mostly shortish but on the Jebel Rum descent one is around 40 metres. Climbing harnesses can be provided but you are encouraged to bring your own plus helmet. Scrambling confidence, a head for heights and abseiling familiarity are definitely needed on this trip.

Day by day tour itinerary:

DAY 1 Arrive Amman. Hotel

 DAY 2 An early start for the drive south down the ‘Desert Highway’ towards Aqaba. We turn off the highway for the final hour, into the desert and Wadi Rum village where we are welcomed into the world of the Bedouin with a traditional drink of tea or coffee. There is time to absorb the dramatic location and see some of the nearby sites of interest such as the Nabaetean Temple, the Police Fort, Wadi Shelaali, Lawrence’s Spring and Wadi s’Bach. In the afternoon we cross Wadi Rum to traverse Rakabat um Ejil canyon, which pierces the towering walls of Jebel Ishrin (1753m), and gives us our first taste of scrambling. Overnight camp in Wadi um Ishrin. (B,L,D)

Note: The exact sequence of the trip, the route and the scrambling locations may vary with each departure. A prime factor will be the aptitude and scrambling abilities of each group. Bedouin culture also is not built around timetables or rigid plans. Please bear this in mind. Primarily the local guide will be acting in your best interests but things like an unexpected camel excursion, scrambling in a secret siq or even a spontaneous Bedouin concert can all come from this flexible approach.

Do note also that sometimes we have purposely omitted names and exact details of the day’s route to guard some of the information.

 DAY 3 One of the highlights today, a drive to Burdah where we scramble up the rock arch, with a short roped section to the top. Across the arch, 10m of harder scrambling leads to the rocky summit ridge and a careful ascent (1574m). Descend and carry on to camp. (B,L,D)

DAY 4 A pure trekking day (after a short jeep ride!) as we venture south, close to the Saudi border. Our objective is the traverse of Jebel Hash, a relaxing high level walk with fine views. (B,L,D)

DAY 5 Hands on rock again today as we tackle one of the best mountain traverses in the whole area. The scrambling is nowhere difficult but the exposure is higher and a rope is used to protect some passages. The summit gives amazing views of surrounding summits especially our next challenge – Jebel Rum! We descend an intricate old Bedouin hunting route with some short abseils. Camp. (B,L,D)

DAY 6 Our camels will arrive in the early morning for our ride Burdah Arch back towards Jebel Rum. There is always some guaranteed excitement depending on whether you have a grumpy or not so grumpy camel. Seriously it is an enjoyable experience and the journey we make gives it a sense of purpose with time to acquire or at least appreciate the relaxed posture of the true camel rider. Overnight, we stay on the west side of Jebel Rum at the base of the mountain. (B,L,D)

DAYS 7 & 8 Jebel Rum traverse and summit bivouac: The west to east traverse of Jebel Rum is easily one of the finest experiences in desert mountains and requires two days to safely move a scrambling group up and down. Our summit bivouac under a starlit desert sky will be memorable. On closer inspection the great sandstone massif of Jebel Rum breaks down into hidden canyons, great walls and ridges. From inside one of these canyons can be seen a shallow and easy angled rake rising steadily up the mountain. That is our route known and used by the Bedouin for a thousand years. Following cracks, siqs, and chimneys, juniper trees and bushes, the absorbing ascent  continues until eventually it begins to level out as we reach the sun-bleached boiler-plate slabs that form the summit plateau – feeling like a ‘lost world.’  We look for a soft sandy corner between the rock for our ‘bivi’ site. Sunset, the cooling evening temperature and the company of our bedouin guides should guarantee an unforgettable experience on one of the highest summits in North Arabia. The next morning we follow domes and long corridors down to the west until we can see the village of Rum beneath our feet. We join the ‘great Siq” which splits the whole of Jebel Rum asunder and begin our descent. Around 5 abseils (max. 40 metres) take us back to ground level, close to ‘Lawrence’s spring’ and with the adrenalin running high, our return to Rum village will feel particularly welcoming. Time to move on – with reluctance perhaps because for a time we may have absorbed a little of the Bedouin way of life and shared with them their close relationship with the desert landscape. We complete our farewells in Wadi Rum and head for Aqaba. (B,L) 

DAY 9 A free day in Aqaba because the warm waters of the Red Sea are just too good to miss. We can head to the Beach Club and snorkel along the fringe reef, marvelling at the colourful fish, sea anemones, sea urchins and coral. Alternatively just laze by the pool or wander in the town for shopping. Or a bit of both! We do recommend as a perfect finish to the day, sitting on the beach in

town at one of the tea stalls, feet lapped by the balmy waters of the Gulf of Aqaba. From here you can watch the sun set over the Gulf and the rugged mountains of the Sinai Peninsula. ()

DAY 10 Return to Amman and depart, or for those with extensions, travel to Petra. (B)

 

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