We were met at the visitors centre of the national park by Ali the eldest of 12 children of Eid. Ali welcomed us into his new home and offered us the sweet, herbed Beduoin tea that was to become part of our staple for the next 24 hours.
We then toured with Salma, 2nd son, in an old and dilapidated Toyota 4 wheel drive, squashed into the front and keeping my knees clear of the gear sticks. Reminded me of days past with my CSIRO friends.
We stopped at a natural spring of clear water where wild camels come to quench their thirst.
We dragged ourselves up a slippery sand dune of brilliant red, to watch a family of camels pass by. Now I understand the meaning of two steps forward and one step back!
We saw Nebataenan rock carvings – camel trains pointing to Mecca.
We ate lunch of pita bread and tuna and met our travelling companions. Eid played his guitar and sang as we washed down lunch with sweet Beduoin tea.
We walked through a gully, clambering over massive boulders and wondered where all the water flowed that couple of times a year when it does rain.
We climbed up a sheer rock face to stand on a natural bridge some 30 metres high and stood in awe at the surrounding land.
We watched the sun settle in the west, creating an awesome glow on the facing rocks.
We ate home cooked Beduoin food – rice and chicken with salad, in their tent, washed down with sweet Beduoin tea.
We sat by the fire with Hussein, 3rd son, and told tales of other travels with our fellow visitors and drank sweet Beduoin tea.
And as the fire dwindled we crawled under heavy blankets and slept until the sun rose.
We ate breakfast cooked by Edi, of eggs and hummus, olives and bread, washed down with sweet Beduoin tea.
It was a great adventure!