Mars on Earth! Couple Spends 2 Nights in the Desert


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Wadi Rum, Jordan.

Have you ever seen The Martian? The movie where Matt Damon gets stranded on Mars and grows tons of delicious potatoes? Well, this is where some of the scenes were filmed and it definitely has an other worldly feel to it - even off screen. We actually spent a few weeks in Jordan, road tripping through the country with another photography couple but the nights in the desert were by far the most astounding. Before we dive into our desert nights you should know that we also posted a blog about Petra… you can find it by clicking HERE.

Surprisingly enough, even with all the travel that we have done over the years, we have only been to three deserts in total: Huacachina Oasis, Northern Atacama, and Wadi Rum. All of them were magical in their own ways but the experience that we had in Wadi Rum was the most unique by far. Shortly after our stay in Petra we made our way farther into the south, out into what was seemingly the middle of nowhere (it really was), in a car that we barely trusted to make it up the slightest of inclines. Roughly two weeks before our arrival we had arranged for a local guide that we found online to take us out, deep into the desert, to spend two nights camping under the stars. Trips like this are typically offered to a degree, but we made sure that we were going to be taken far away from the rest of the tourists, out into areas that most people had never seen. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into but we couldn’t have been more excited about it.

We arrived at a small tea house after the long drive down from Petra and were greeted by a small group of local guides, all very excited to see us arrive. We hung out for some time drinking tea, having some snacks and discussing our options for the trip. After a couple hours we had it all figured out and the car was packed with supplies and all of our belongings that we had brought with us. We were feeling very optimistic and couldn’t wait for the tires to hit the sand.

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The issue with excursions like this, any kind of preplanned tour, is that they have all the same destinations marked for every group of travelers that they bring out. You are about to embark on an ‘adventure’ that you have probably seen a thousand photos of, all from various other travel accounts or blogs and you are not going to encounter anything unique or interesting. This is the kind of excursion that we absolutely hate. There is nothing more mundane than identically following the footsteps of others… without innovation there is no creativity! Apparently the conversations that we had with the owner of the excursion company weren't conveyed to our driver because he just started hitting all the packed locations that we had expressly stated we had no interest in visiting. To make it worse… there was a huge language barrier. We don’t speak Arabic and while he could speak a little bit of English, he was almost entirely unable to understand it. We were off to a very rough and disappointing start.

Finally, after a couple of hours of him trying to stop and us politely protesting he figured it out. We felt so terrible because we were unable to communicate with him but in the end it was all completely fine. He started driving us out, far away from the other vehicles, far away from all the people and we started to relax a bit. We only had two days for this and we had already wasted the best light of the first day. Luckily we are no strangers to having to rattle off a bunch of photos quickly so we just had to get ready for the following day.

Day two was everything we could have hoped it would be. We stopped at some of the most incredible, windswept archers out in the desert. There were beautiful mirages in the distance, rocky cliffs surrounding us and we even walked through a narrow, desert cavern that had green grass growing inside it. Our guide showed us some of the most unbelievable views, places that we had never seen photographs of before and he even helped us find wild camels. It was such a magical experience.

Photo Rights owned by Positravelty LLC, on behalf of @positravelty

Both nights, after days spent chasing the most amazing places we could find, we camped out under the stars. The weather was absolutely perfect while we were there (November) and we just slept in sleeping bags on the sand, right next to the vehicle. He cooked us a bunch of delicious local cuisines and pointed out different star patterns for us to take note of. It was bittersweet having this trip come to an end but the memory of it will certain never leave us. The photos we have from the trip are some of our favorites from our entire time in Jordan and we love that we get to share a few of them with you as you read this brief memory of our time in Wadi Rum. Check our the highlights on our Instagram to see all the stories from our time in Jordan and many more photos!

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