national park of Wadi Rum – one of the largest nature reserves of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan – has important historical and cultural value. There is it in the South of the state, near the seaport of Aqaba that is located opposite to the Israeli Eilat through the gulf, and near frontier with Saudi Arabia. First of all, Wadi Rum is well-known for the unique nature, however in his territory there are many historical monuments which definitely should be visited in case you appeared in this corner of Jordan. To reach here by public transport rather difficult though nearby and there is a branch of the Hijaz railroad, regular buses do not go here therefore it makes sense to rent the car or to reach as a part of excursion group. Quite often tours in this direction will be organized from the Jordanian capital of Amman and combined on a visit in Petra who is a little to the north of Wadi Rum. So, what represents this park and what today it can be attractive by?
Wadi Rum is a site of the desert where since ancient times there lived the Arab nomads bedouins. Historically it was the patrimonial earth of the Bedouin tribe huveytat, and today descendants of these people live in the territory of Wadi Rum, performing various functions on maintenance of an order in the territory of the park, work with tourists, environmental protection. Besides, they, as well as their ancestors a century ago, still are engaged in semi-nomadic cattle breeding, and today here it is possible to see flocks of sheep or caravans of camels. The large-scale camel enterprise is located directly at entrance to the park, and here itself can order a tour deep into of the desert lasting day or more, with spending the night in the real Bedouin tent and a dinner on a fire under the open sky.
It is simply impossible to get on the territory of the park on the regular car – there are no asphalt roads, and only two means of transport are widespread: already mentioned camels, and all-wheel drive SUVs. The park covers quite large square so it does not make sense to go on foot here too. However, both camels, and the jeep it is possible to rent at the tourist station which is besides near a main entrance to the park. It is necessary to move from one object to another long enough so it is necessary to think of transport in advance, having reserved itself something by phone or having written off with administration by e-mail.
So, at what it is possible to look in Wadi Rum? First of all, the unique natural ensembles made of rocks and large boulders. Color of the soil, stones and clay has a red shade here therefore this place is frequent compare to the Martian landscape. Really, be ready that red dust will accumulate on footwear and clothes. Rocky ledges are fancifully ground by winds here, and some tops have openings and other bizzare shapes which can be observed only in these parts. Through the park there pass ridges, and Wadi Rum attracts climbers from a set of the countries which make ascensions on any given tops.
The park in terms of historical value is extremely attractive. In one of its corners the most ancient rock paintings which imprinted scenes of hunting remained. Images of the animals and people armed with copies were put with the unknown artist a millennium ago, and are still available to a review. The fact that these drawings here are not protected in any way is remarkable – there are no protections, bullet-proof glasses or other barriers which can be met in other similar places, and to images it is possible to approach and touch by a hand, having felt the atmosphere of an extreme antiquity. In a cleft among rocks it is possible to see the ancient well which was once feeding with water of caravaneers that passed through these sands. From olden days wells were essential here, in the desert – around them there were settlements and expanded to the whole cities, they were the original capital of a single tribe, for the sake of them wars were waged. It is quite obvious, often water for the nomad was much more expensively than diamonds and gold – at first the nomad gave to drink the cattle which was the key to ensuring existence of a sort and only then got drunk also.
The black tents of nomads felted from dense goat wool and can be noticed today at the foot of rocks. They go about the own business – graze the cattle, do business among themselves and tourists, are called as guides. In one of similar tents it is possible to spend the night, having used hospitality of owners – long since the secret law of the desert ordered to welcome travelers, even from among members of the hostile tribe. To come under a shelter of a tent of the bedouin automatically meant to appear under protection of the owner, and historical sources describe at all paradoxical cases when the nomad pursued by enemies was forced to take refuge in a tent of one of the opponents, and then the owner of the dwelling turned weapon against tribespeople as it was obliged to protect the guest even at the cost of the life.
However today armed conflicts between bedouins sank Into oblivion long ago. Protection of an order in the territory of the park is carried out by Bedouin police whose post is located here, in an ancient stone fort. The staff of this connection is gathered among families of local nomads, and the vast majority of police officers are natives of already mentioned tribe huveytat. Their appearance is very picturesque. They are dressed in the traditional Arab shirts sewed from army material of color khaki, on sleeves the chevrons designating the police officer's rank are sewed. Their heads are covered by a national Arab scarf a keffiyeh – coloring in a red-white cage are characteristic of Jordan – and the rope cord fixing a scarf on the head the cockarde crowns. The twisted cord from a red tape with heavy brushes is fastened to the revolver removed in a holster, and across a breast there are cartridge belts. Despite of rather archaic appearance, the Bedouin police are not a certain masked regiment - it is full-fledged operational division which members patrol the desert on camels, catch smugglers and protect public order in the Wadi Rum park.
Also LifeGid recommends to you to visit the ancient city the Jordanian Petra.