Go back to Wadi Rum Quickie.
Another pot of hot, sweet tea brewing on a fire.
The next handful of days were spent on climbing, backing off climbs (too hard, too scary…), and enjoying our time with Khaled and his wonderful family in their encampment. We were once again reminded of the depressingly efficient passage of time by seeing Khaled’s elder son Zaid – he was barely a toddler during our first trip while now he was practically helping Khaled in driving us out to the desert. Unlike in 2012, when we camped by the Rest House and used their adventurous bathroom and shower facilities, this time we stayed in Khaled’s charming desert encampment, The Milky Way, far from the village. No more filthy toilets, dark, cold showers, and tent life. We stayed in a comfy canvas cabin complete with beds; enjoyed the hot tea sessions in the communal “tent” (more like a living room under the stars) as well as solar-heated showers and ate delicious breakfasts (including our favorite staple, Bedouin bread baked in the desert sand) and dinners in the family tent. This warm hospitality was in fact the big reason why we went back – really the only destination outside of North America that we have revisited to date.
East face of Jebel Rum.
Our first climb of the trip was a 6 pitch route called Flight Of Fancy
(6b) in the lower portions of the east face of Jebel Rum directly above the village. The highlights of the route were the long dihedral pitch as well as the foot shuffle traverse at the top of the route – easy in retrospect but quite memorable. We were surprised to see two other teams of climbers: a pair of Israelis and a mixed French-Palestinian team. Practically crowded and quite a change from 2012.
If you have a longish layover in Frankfurt, bring your rock shoes and you too can send some plastic sickness..
90 minutes to San Francisco, 10 hours to Frankfurt, 5 hours to Amman (8pm arrival), and a 4 hour taxi ride down to Wadi Rum. This is a roadside coffee stop halfway through the drive for our chauffeur to refuel (Feb. 2016).
Another pot of hot, sweet tea brewing on a fire on a cold, desert night (Feb. 2016).
Sprinkling of spring flowers in the desert (Feb. 2016).
Shirley walking through Khaled’s desert camp. If our first stay camping out near the Rest House was a bit adventurous (cold dark showers etc.), this was the lap of luxury!
Beautiful Jordanian desert (Feb. 2016).
On our way to Khaled’s tent for breakfast before heading out into the desert for some climbing (Feb. 2016).
East face of Jebel Rum above the village (Feb. 2016).
Hiking up to the base of the east face of Jebel Rum and the Flight Of Fancy route (obvious, right-facing dihedral in the lower third). Severely jet lagged but excited to be back in the beautiful desert (Feb. 2016).
Shirley charging up to the base of Jebel Rum on our first day back in Wadi Rum. The Rest House is in the background (directly above Shirley’s head; Feb. 2016).
Shirley on pitch 2 (Feb. 2016).
Pitch 2 top out (Feb. 2016).
Leading pitch 3 of Flight Of Fancy (Feb. 2016).
Shirley on pitch 3 of Flight Of Fancy (Feb. 2016).
More pitch 3.
The French-Palestinian team climbing Mad Frogs And Englishman route next door to us (Feb. 2016).
Leading the money pitch (#4).
Shirley starting the spectacular pitch 4 dihedral on Flight Of Fancy (Feb. 2016).
Near the top of the pitch, you exit the dihedral proper to avoid a hard-looking wide crack section (Feb. 2016).
Shirley walking the plank on pitch 6 of Flight Of Fancy (Feb. 2016).
Almost done…not hard but certainly awkward and the gear is a bit iffy (Feb. 2016).
More Rest House sights (Feb. 2016).
The Rest House (Feb. 2016).
A camel by the Rest House (Feb. 2016).
Cheating on Blondie with a very sweet girl at the Rest House in the village (Feb. 2016).
A hitchhiker in the village (Feb. 2016).
The climbing shop in Wadi Rum Village (Feb. 2016).
An unknown party topping out on the Goldfinger route (higher party on the right; Feb. 2016).
View of The Beauty from the village – the left facing dihedral (Feb. 2016).
Shirley enjoying an afternoon in the communal/living room of Khaled’s encampment (Feb. 2016).
Go to Wadi Rum 2.
Go back to Wadi Rum Quickie.