Inside Khaled’s mothers tent….we stopped for lunch. Recently widowed, she moved closer to Rum so her many sons could truck out water and food for her goats. Khaled and Alfred enjoy lunch, a young girl watches as her uncle lounges in the background. Most people living in and around Wadi are of Bedouin origin. There are seven tribal groups the largest being the Zalabia tribe.
Trees are rare in Wadi Rum and generally limited to the canyons with underground water sources. These tough green bushes are more abundant although also limited to water courses (dry at this time of year). My camel liked to snatch a mouthful of this bush as we road by. A delicate web of tracks of lizards, beetles, mice and birds wove the bushes together.
This pile of stones is a graveyard, how old is unknown. The Bedu, like the Inuit of the Canadian arctic, wrap their dead with a shroud before covering them with rocks. Sometimes treasured possessions are left alongside the body. This stone grave sites have been largely replaced in the Canadian arctic with common cemetaries close to the communities.
Tea time on the summit of Jordan’s highest peak, Jabal Umm al Dami (1854 meters / 6082 ft). Khaled collected dry sticks of wood just below the summit for the fire as well as leaves from some tiny pale green herb. Across to the south is Saudi Arabia…I can see paved roads that wind between the mountains. Are they watching us? Surprisingly it is not very windy up here. The broken and shattered boulders are tippy and I resort to a seat rather than a precarious perch.