LAWRENCE SPRING

Known as ‘Ain Abu Aineh’ in Arabic, this is the spring where TE Lawrence, the British general who aided the Arabs in their revolt against the Ottoman Empire, stopped to drink and bathe in during his journey across the desert. Like Lawrence’s House, this attraction has a history far older than its namesake. For generations, Bedouin people have come to this spot to have a sip of clean, refreshing water, trekking up the rocky slope with their children until they reached the pale fig tree that marks the spring’s origin. Bright green moss and scrub plants burst from the rock crevices, boldly out of place in this arid landscape, a testament to the importance of water in sustaining life. When the rains are good, many Bedouins will still stop here for a drink—though it’s probably best that the average tourist sticks to bottled water unless you have a stomach accustomed to the Bedouin lifestyle.

Once you reach the spring, views looking out over the valley are spectacular. Camels plod and stretch long legs at the base of the slope, next to various inscriptions of Thamudic origin. These animals nightly make their pilgrimage towards the spring, signifying this place as a beacon for nature’s precious water source.  In the distance, Wadi Rum village sits quietly on one side of the mountain, while on the other, an untainted landscape of red and black rocks make jagged impressions against blue sky.

The water that flows from the rocks nourish brights greens rarely seen in the arid landscapes of Wadi Rum, the mosses provide a stunning contrast to the dry flora of the wider area. Below the spring water is piped to troughs for livestock to water.

Lawrence Spring is visited on both the half day and full day 4×4 tours, and is the main watering hole for the livestock handlers in the valley, as such it serves as a primary departure point for camel tours. It is located 2km from Wadi Rum Village as you depart from the asphalt and travel south into the Protected Area. The GPS Coordinates are 29.559337N, 35.41074E.

FAST FACTS:

  1. Named after TE Lawrence because he drank and bathed here on his journey through the desert, but older Arabic name is ‘Ain Abu Aineh’ meaning father of Aineh spring.
  2. Only water source for miles around, important life source for early desert caravans and modern day camels! The inscription on the nearby rock is an ancient signpost for water.