Al Shallaleh Spring
A year round source of water above Wadi Rum Village, with only a finite volume it is not sufficient to sustain the village. It is however a refreshing source of cold mountain spring water after the 2 kilometre walk up from the valley below. The trail leading up from nearby the Nabataean temple slowly makes its way up the mountainside. The community have cleared a path and created steps for easy access for anyone with the energy to overcome the desert heat.
As you get higher your vantage of the area expands and you can see over the village and far through the valley. The area gradually becomes greener as you make your way up through the crevice and approach the spring. You finally reach a crest and head around a final bend to the overwhelming scent of desert mint. The wild mint is growing in abundance in the wet areas surrounding the spring. Before you reach the spring you will pass a large rock with a flat face sitting at 45 degrees almost as if it were a podium for the vast valley that opens up behind it. The rock is covered in inscriptions and it is easy to imagine artists of the past engraving animals they could see passing through the valley below.
Fig trees climb above the spring with roots twisting their way through the rocks seeming to hold the cliff together. The root systems creating curved shapes in contrast to the steep blocks of sandstone around them, both stunning feats of nature in their own right.
You hear the water flowing before you can see any water. The spring itself is surrounded by more engravings etched over thousands of years. As you reach the green oasis, look to your right for a rectangular marking. Engraved in a deep nook there are 2500 year old inscriptions from the Greeks during Alexander the Great’s conquests. Although difficult to identify due to damage it depicts the Greek goddess of water Hydros. This is accompanied by an indistinguishable greek passage. There are several other inscriptions of Thamudic, Nabataean and Arabic.
Wadi Rum Desert Respite
The spring is sheltered from direct sun at all times hidden within a cove beneath high cliffs and offers respite from the desert heat. You find yourself shaded by the cliffs and surrounded by cool moist air in the lush green corner of the desert. A wonderful experience during time in the hot dry desert!
A cistern has been built around the spring ensuring a deep pool of cool fresh water is held. The trickling of water echoes from the cistern and as you peer inside you can see the crystal clear spring water held inside.