The sun’s rays, reflected from dangling in the air of grains of sand dispersed throughout the space. On either side of the valley stood a bizarre rock giants. Between them snaked a barely noticeable track. Where were they? To the far Bedouin nomads? To eternity? There are more questions than answers. “Godlike laryngeal space” — with such words one traveler expressed his impression of the landscape of Jordan in the Wadi Rum desert, the majestic and mysterious in the world.
I camped for the night at the foot of the mountains, which cut through several canyons (the most narrow of them called “SICAME”). Put up a tent, had a bite quickly before dark and sat entranced by the surrounding landscape. Before me stretched a valley lit by a pink sunset. Over her smoothly circling a large black bird.
On the other side slowly, with the usual grace was moving camel. To survive in the wilderness, only moving it to follow the sun and flocks of sheep, looking for sparse vegetation. Did inhabiting these windswept uplands the Bedouin tribes, as anciently called all the inhabitants of the Arab world, which led a nomadic life (the word “Badia” is Arabic from “desert”).
The readiness at any moment to leave their homes was not only severe vital necessity, but a kind of philosophy of being. For the Bedouin in the desert has no secrets, they know every secret path, fire, weather prediction, the production of food, of salvation from thirst, dust storms and poisonous snakes.
I must say that most of the Bedouin round cake, except that it is extremely tasty, and once I covered his head from the sun.
In ancient times the responsibility of the residents of the desert was to help travellers and caravans to provide them with food and lodging. Now it is the paramount duty of the Bedouin, but the spirit of hospitality left in them. Getting on the bike from Aqaba, a coastal Fort Guards the Deserted — village, situated in the heart of Wadi Rum, I often tired of pedaling, was turning off the highway, knowing I wouldn’t get lost, and if you meet the person, we will tell you the way, offer food and shelter.
Characteristic black tents on the slopes of the mountains are visible from afar. This is the traditional home of the Bedouins. Tents are usually mounted on rigid wooden or metal frames. Spacious, quiet and comfortable. Walking easy in the heat skvoznyachok, when a strong wind blows (dusty Khamsin) or during cold nights, you can omit the side cover, tighten stretch marks. The hearth provides warmth inside.
Winter tents and Bedouin tents of goat hair, which does not allow the cold and moisture. In General, the Bedouin, accustomed to the change of habitat, unassuming appearance of the dwelling and its furnishings. In some places settlements are all one big flat housing, slepleno from sheds, sheds, dugouts…
If the meeting with the indigenous people takes place in the camp of the shepherds, the owners generally treat guests with camel yogurt, cottage cheese, milk diluted with lamb (this dish is called “jeep-jeep”), and, of course, tortillas. The Jordanian Bedouin bread baked at home or bought in bakeries. So, “makruh” is a handmade pita, and “jobs Eli” — bread baking machine. Blistered, pimpled, thin bread “taboun” baked into small stones pellets.
STRENGTH AND ENDURANCE.
In the Arab East, the Saker Falcon is the cult of the sacred bird. The Houbara bustard is a classic object of hunting for hunting the Saker Falcon, which is mined sacrifice both in the air and on the ground. In the first case, a Saker Falcon chasing a bustard and catches her legs. Both birds continue the fight on earth. In this case, the goal of the Falconer is to come to the scene of the struggle and to help the Saker Falcon, as the bustard can cause the Falcon a serious injury. Sometimes hunting is a different scenario. Bustard, seeing her flying Falcon, ready to fight on the ground. Generally bustard more than two times that of the Saker Falcon in size and not always the loser. Saker Falcon in combat shows its own characteristics: stamina and ability to endure pain.
I was lucky: I traveled to Jordan in early April. The sun is already noticeable during the day was hot, but the land still bore the memory of the winter rainy season. Red anemones, poppies delicate, the columns of areasof, famous black irises, which became the emblem of Jordan, caught at every step. The medicinal and nutritional properties of these and many other desert plants are well known to the locals. In the Bedouin tent you will be offered a tart-flavored, perfectly thirst-quenching beverage from tea leaves and desert herbs habak and marmaria, and adds sugar without measures and the glass will fill to the brim. Tea drink symbolizes the sweetness of life, and it should be full Cup!..
Look in the desert nothing to cling to. And the like. Really want and watch and watch and think. As a result, you can find some amazing things. For example, a small fungus that hatched out of the ground not on the edge of the forest, and among the hot Sands. I knew that mushrooms can grow in the most adverse conditions — any rotten wood, mold. But this mushroom is podaxis — was a relative of our raincoats and umbrellas, and is also edible.
Dating in the desert, and the mushroom-like truffle. It can be detected on very thin reticular cracks on the surface of the earth. With a sharp spade or large knife loosen the soil and are red-brown or white fruit. Skilled underground all find a treat gazelles. They can smell the mushrooms and surprisingly they quickly dig up. After heavy winter rains on the busy road, you can see Bedouin holding out travellers head scarves, full of truffles.
The main concern of man in the desert — water. The nomads find it, relying on instinct humpback their four-legged friends. If a camel is thirsty, falls to the ground and refuses to move further, hence, it makes sense to dig in this place. In Wadi Rum it is easy to find water. With sources, rich in this area, the valley was populated even in prehistoric times…
Sandy desert terrain becomes semi-white beds of dried-up streams, and rare, but still noticeable vegetation. Often I have noticed dead trees with crooked trunks and an umbrella canopy. So, where is the Falcon or the Kestrel to sit down — not all the time to fly over the desert expanse in search of prey! And shade for the traveller, though thin, but still available, and firewood for the campfire you can scrape together.
One problem — the spines so any Scorpions, lizards, geckos, agamids, snakes, spiders, ants… In General, a camp should be chosen with caution. However, the next day all the animals hiding in burrows, and gets out only at night. By the way, if the night quietly out of the tent, you can see the hedgehog, the hare, the hyrax and even the Jackal, wolf, steppe lynx. Unfortunately, it is unlikely to meet with the Arabian Oryx.
A small group of Oryx was released into Wadi Rum in 2002, but the new place animals not caught and moved to stony plain neighbouring Saudi Arabia. Today the Royal society for the conservation of nature are being re-settlement programme for the Oryx the local canyons.
THE MACQUEEN’S BUSTARD.
Wiley, aka Jack, the Houbara bustard, a bird detachment of the crane-shaped, got its name after the distinctive running vraskachku. Body length of males up to 75 cm, weight — 3.2 kg. the Species is found in the deserts of North Africa, in Egypt, in Asia from the Sinai Peninsula to West Pakistan and from the Caspian sea to Mongolia. Wiley eats vegetable food, such as fruits, seeds, shoots, leaves and flowers. Complement a diet of locusts, crickets and beetles. Houbara bustard is listed in the Red book of Kazakhstan, but every year the government allows Arab sheikhs to hunt these rare birds with their falcons.
Routes of nomadic Bedouins traverse the desert in this region, in which a skilled hunter can easily catch the Gazelle, the wolf, and hare. Usually they lurk in places of a watering place. In tents, sometimes you can find gazelles manual. These are the babies of females produced on the hunt. With them willingly. On the sea coast the Bedouin effortlessly catch migratory birds. Weary from their flight via the sea, the birds sit in the trees and the bushes and fall in the trap and the network.
Much harder to deal with hunting birds. Production of diverse animals with falcons is a favorite kind of hunting Bedouin. Extract experienced hunting these birds, watching their nests. Trained falcons, tied with a leather cord, usually sit in the men’s section of the tent on a special, embedded in the ground poles. Each bird has its name. Require weeks of daily training, the Falcon was on the orders of the master to fall from a height on prey — hare, bustard or a Gazelle, throw her on the ground and hold until the arrival of the hunter. Good the falcons can in a single morning “precocity” to a dozen great bustards or hares.
Well, if this way can not get fowl or animal, it is possible to do… and locusts. The attack by these voracious insects in the times of the pharaohs it was considered a terrible scourge, and since then people began to “retaliate” locust in a special way, eating it in all forms: dried, fried, boiled. To taste fried grasshoppers similar to chestnuts. Connoisseurs compare it with chicken.
As soon as you notice a flock of Bedouins, superimposed on the sun, they immediately are prepared to collect insects. The best time for this is after sunset because at night the insects are resting. Extracted locusts boiled in large boilers with salt water. The next day the sun dried the whole mountain locust. While inedible chitinous parts fall away. The dried insects are put in a leather storage bag. They are usually eaten with sour milk.
In addition, the Bedouin extracted protein foods, collecting eggs of the bustards, and sand chickens. The boys are catching lizards or agrionemys drawing from shelters, and bake them in hot ashes. Hunt nomads and Scorpions. The prey these creatures need them, to embalm them with poison stuffed animals, in what the Bedouins have achieved considerable success.
Today in the life of a Bedouin hunting plays only a subordinate role. In our day nomads “catch” mainly tourists. Through rocky and sandy heathland are firmly openwork towers, connected by wires, run through an asphalt track with its infrastructure.
Civilization obyazyvaet planet. What remains of the peoples who used to live solely natural the benefits? How not to lose their original essence and to adapt to the fact that stronger, more assertive? The Bedouins quickly learned to count not only camels, but the money…
THE WINGED HUNTER.
Since the time of Genghis Khan the Saker Falcon on a par with the eagle is a favorite hunting bird of falconers Asia. He successfully preys on terrestrial vertebrates, including rabbits and hares, and birds up to the bustards and herons. Saker combines hawk and Falcon behavior. On the one hand, it is viscous, hawk, stalking his prey stolen from the other swoops on prey from great heights. Central Asian and Arab falconers put the Saker-hawk, that is, take off Klobuchar and put his hands on the game at relatively long distances. To hunt with the Saker preferably by car or on horseback, as the bird can catch prey far away from the Falconer. To find the Falcon, it is better to use the telemetry equipment and not bells.
I was standing corrected on the fire the teapot, from time to time, filling his glass of sweet amber liquid. Bedouin Issa was lying nearby on the rug and held up a finger, counting camels, wives, children, money.
— What’re you doing? I’m a camel. You have a wife? And I have three of them. And have children? I got ten. No, two more. Twelve will be…
Currently the Bedouins earn on tourists and pilgrims who come to see shrines and protected corners of the ancient deserts. Nomads, as the traditional owners of this land give them that right. Of course, in exchange for dollars, euros, shekels, dinars…
When I left Wadi Rum, the weather suddenly turned bad. Low clouds hid the sun. In the desert whirling vortexes, stirring up clouds of sand. From gorges drew a chill. And suddenly the wind dropped. Everything was frozen in suspense. In the air hung the dust, even at a hundred yards it was difficult to distinguish objects. This phenomenon is called “dry mist”.
And yet, as local say, there are often “dry the rain”, when rainfall because high temperatures evaporate before they reach earth. In this case, if the heat exceeds forty-degree mark, we could hear strange sounds. It burst the rocks. The Bedouins call this phenomenon “the sounds of the sun”. Maybe it’s the voices of heaven, gave people a fabulous desert area? Or, on the contrary, the earth thank heaven for the generous gift?
In these reflections I left Wadi Rum, the dunes and canyons which I long to wander in the memories and dreams.