Have you ever been to night camping? Think again! How about in a desert? Sounds exciting and adventurous, right! Even I was quite excited with this idea during my Jordan trip. Being a solo traveler, the only option that I am left with is to book a package tour but that idea didn’t quite excite me. Therefore, I looked for friends in Jordan to plan an impromptu night camping.
I was fortunate to meet a couple of adventurous guys who came from Dubai. All three of us met for the first time in our lives and we don’t know each other. But, they also liked the idea of night camping in a desert. In no time, we contacted a few camps in Wadirum and finalized one to arrange a private tour for only three of us. We reached Wadirum with starving tummies around 9 pm. A land cruiser arranged by the private tour took us into the desert. Even though the driver assured that it was a desert, all we could see is a couple of cruising car lights immersed in darkness. Another couple of lights followed our car and we started looking at each other with growing suspicion. Our driver cleared the air explaining that the other couple of lights following our car belong to a French lady who is supposed to arrange campfire and dinner for us.
On reaching the destination, we were thoroughly disappointed as the surroundings were loomed by darkness. Our driver lit a few candles and set up campfire inside a half broken cave. The French lady told us that she would prepare a delicious chicken biryani. Our reaction was “NO! Do you know how a chicken biryani tastes?” She smiled and asked us to trust her. Meanwhile, we rested on the mattresses in the cave and gazed at the clear sky full of stars. We identified the constellations and started to count the stars. It was fun and the last time I remember such an experience was during my childhood. We are becoming so busy in our lives that we are unable to enjoy such experiences. It was very cold in the desert at night and the campfire between our mattresses was a wonderful idea. The warmth from rubbing our hands and exposing our body to the fire was really comforting. We picked the drinks of our choice and started to introduce ourselves. We spoke, argued and debated on a wide variety of topics in a short time. After an hour, the French lady served us the most delicious chicken biryani I ever ate outside India. We thanked her and asked her what a French lady is doing in Jordan deserts in her mid-forties. She said that she is exploring life by travelling to various places and taking up different jobs in each country. She has been working as a volunteer in Jordan to organize private desert tours for tourists.
After dinner, we resumed our conversation for another hour or so. It felt like a dream. Night camping in a desert, camp fire in a cave, dinner with candle lights, a few melodies, drinks of our choice, frank opinions on the most idiotic topics on earth, non-sense arguments with new friends, clear skies and millions of stars falling on us. Since then, whenever I hear about night camping, this experience comes quickly passing a tickling sensation to my memory.