There are many reasons to recommend travel to the wonderful country of Jordan, including the Roman ruins at Jerash, the grand hand carved sandstone buildings of Petra (a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the modern wonders of the world), the port city of Aqaba, and of course Wadi Rum, a vast desert showcasing great granite and sandstone mountains. Just the names conjure visions of TE Lawrence in Bedouin garb racing across the desert atop a Camel. Very romantic indeed. I am personally obsessed with the Middle East, probably because of the expansive deserts and hence the ever present CAMEL. These are some of the most hearty of beasts, enabling man to face the harsh and sometimes dire elements of the desert. And if you don't believe me, just drag out Lawrence of Arabia for another viewing. (Not to mention, Peter O'Toole is smoking hot in that movie). Eternally amusing and fun loving critters, your experience will be immensely enhanced by including them in your desert travels. I for one became smitten during my trip to Egypt (back in the good ole' days of 2001), where a brief sojourn to Giza to view the pyramids included a meet and greet with these curious fellows. Apparently they can be cranky and have been known to spit on the unsuspecting tourist, but I have found them to be charming and fascinating, with the enormous eyes and the expressive lips. They have charisma for sure!
So, when in Wadi Rum, do as the natives do and GET ATOP a Camel and head off on a desert excursion!
Now HOW cute is that baby Camel? Not something you'll see everyday, that's for sure!
This was my Camel "Abboud"…..needless to say there will be MUCH motion whilst riding upon these guys, so a lens stabilizer is key.
During this ride my lens cap popped off and fell to the ground. Abboud took this chance to go ROGUE. He ambled off the beaten path in search of greener pastures, leaning over to scavenge the occasional greenery in the sand. Despite the hustle and bustle I managed to stay on board without too much unseemly flailing. Our Camel master retrieved my lens cap and all was right. Thank heavens. TRAVEL TRIP #2: Always take an EXTRA lens cap. (The lens cap "keeper" (see image below) is an option, but the hanging lens might become an annoyance).
(Image care of the internet).
And an adjunct TIP, when on any type of photographic journey, wear a vest or jacket with capacious pockets that are easily accessible, and will accomodate that extra lens cap and a few shekels. Not sure what I was thinking on this trip. I have no excuse for the schmatta. Sigh.
As a for instance, any of these jackets (from Ralph Lauren Spring 2015) would be perfect for traveling, especially in a dusty environment…..tan and khaki will camouflage dust and sand. No need to go the runway route however. Ralph Lauren will likely have non-runway selections that achieve the same purpose with less damage to the pocketbook. Also consider the versatile cargo pants for more space. Better than a backpack which is just an unsightly pain in the keister.
In the desert, man's best friend:
Charming and captivating critters!
Where would the average desert dweller be without these hearty beasts? (Pushing up sand that's where!).
And many thanks to GEOGRAPHIC EXPEDITIONS who arranged this endlessly intriguing and unforgettable trip to Jordan.