One Night In... A Bedouin Camp

jeep280116 You arrive in four-wheel-drives, bounding across the darkening desert. Sands swirl underfoot as you step down from the vehicles and take in the scene: a charming, neat array of tall tents, huddled at the foot of a great wall. The red rock is crowned with the last of the sunlight, welcoming you to your home for the night. Wadi Rum has been home to human beings for millennia. The desert’s inhabitants are the Bedouin, your hosts for the evening, a nomadic people renowned for their strong culture and warm hospitality. The illusion is one of a lifestyle utterly unchanged since ancient times – in fact, you’ll find hot showers and mobile phone chargers amongst the camel-hair hides. food280116 Soon it is time for feasting. The ceremony begins strangely, with the Bedouin family leading you to the outskirts of the camp, where they begin digging in the sand. Soon a steaming metal cylinder is hauled from the ground, accompanied by heavy and heady smell of mouth-watering spices – three tiers of food have been cooking within, beneath the sand. The meat is beyond tender, saturated with flavour, and the vegetables are delightfully fluffy. There are plenty of other options, too – hummus and salads and fine Jordanian bread. fire280116 After dinner, the campfire is lit. As it flickers and dances, casting orange light against the rock wall which looms overhead, delicious sweet tea is handed around before the music starts. Traditional Bedouin melodies ring out in the night air, moody twangs snowballing into chaotically energetic rhythms. You’ll have the chance to learn how to dance like a Bedouin, and let the evening wash over you. music280116 When your eyelids begin to droop, you’re presented with a choice. Wander inside the tall tents – there’s ample room to stand up – and choose a bed surrounded by gorgeous and ornately patterned canvas walls. Or take the beds outside, where the dying embers of the fire still sending out waves of heat. Here, snuggle down in your sleeping bag amongst the heaps of blankets, lie back and gaze into the heavens. The stars are an infinite vista of light, pulsing with energy. It’s easy to get lost in that endlessness, and drift off to a peaceful slumber. As the sun rises the next morning and the warm orange hues of the desert seep back into the world, a team of camels awaits, ready to take you on another adventure. sunrise280116

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A Week in Jordan

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