Absorbing the Arabian tradition, I guide my fellow travellers to the sand dunes of Wadi Rum the next day to soak in the sunset on this great Jordanian valley. Cut into the sandstone and granite rocks in south Jordan at sixty kilometres to the east of Aqaba, is this large desert that is a movie celebrity in itself. Starring in movies like ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, ‘Red Planet’ and more recently ‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”, the place is known as the haven of the ‘Bedouin’ tribe who inhabit the area with their goat-hair tents and top of the line sports utility vehicles. More amazing is the view from the top of Jebel um Adaami, the highest peak in Jordan that on clearer days accords a view of Red Sea and the border with Saudi Arabia.
Sleep deprived and adrenaline soaked, we order a feast at Captain Cook’s desert camp before making our way to the harbour city of Aqaba. Over the following hours, I settle down at the Movenpik, Tala Bay that is as comfortable as it can be. Overlooking the Red Sea and the distant mountains of Israel on one side and Egypt on another, I feel exhausted and emotionally charged at the same time.
My final day in Jordan is set up by the inviting breeze from the Red Sea and a dive into the numerous pools Movenpik offers. After a quick sumptuous breakfast served by a Egyptian maître d'hôtel, we head onto to the Aqaba diving centre which home to exquisite corals and sea reefs is regarded as one of the top diving destinations of the world. Three hours later, and a dive down the Red Sea to experience the maritime wonders it has to offer, I come out a different person.
Absorbing the slow accent of the life and times of Jordan and relishing the sounds and smells of the culture, my knowledge and appreciation of this middle-eastern jewel augments multifold in these six days of bliss. And on the return flight back to the cacophony of my ‘normal’ life, the only question which crosses my mind is, “Why Not Jordan?”