“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” - Mark Twain
As I was saying goodbye to Maartje and Jean, the guide tried to ask them for some extra for me and they reminded him of his agreement earlier. There was a taxi at the gate but he wanted to charge me the same amount of money to go just into the local village as the other guy had charged for my ride from Aqaba. I refused and was going to start walking when a local man pulled up and agreed to take me for 1/3 of what the taxi was asking.
We talked on the trip into the village and he asked me where I was staying and how much I was paying. I had looked up a local sleep house where you basically pay for a bed and bathroom for the night. He offered up a place at his house for half the price.
I felt like the man and the offer were totally safe so I agreed to stay at his house. He had told me that his wife just had a baby a few days before and he needed to go spend a little time with her. He walked me to a sort of outdoor living room at his father’s house next door and explained the situation to them in Arabic. I took off my shoes, set down my bag, and sat down by the fire.
The man’s brother spoke a little English, but his father and the other people who joined us spoke none. So most of the communication was done via gestures and the two or three Arabic words I could remember. The father graciously kept pouring this amazing tea and offering it to me whenever my glass got empty.
They were watching television and the main show was a comedy about two brothers who were traveling with their wives and another man they knew. I didn’t understand a word of it, but I had fun piecing together things just by watching. I sat there warming myself by the campfire and thought to myself that this day had been so much different and more amazing than the plans I had originally made.
My host came back and after a while we headed over to his house. He asked me if I knew much about websites and I said I knew enough to do some stuff with WordPress. Over the next hour or so, we set up a business page for his tour guide service. When we were done, he brought out some blankets and bedding. I crawled into bed and could only remark what a wonderful day of adventure.
Here are a few photos from the end of the day at Wadi Rum as the sun was setting.