I shuffled out of my tent-room as the morning light began to brighten the eastern sky. A hush engulfed our groggy group as we shuffled through the camp and out into the dryness of the desert.
Bertie and I noticed each other immediately, eyes catching from across the crowd awaiting us for our morning adventure. Of course, Bertie was coy and pretended that I was nothing special. For me, I couldn’t help be drawn to her colorful adornments and accouterments.
I learned later that her name wasn’t really Bertie. Alicia, I was told, but to me her nom du désert will always be Bertie.
Bertie and I, and the rest of our group of travelers, woke early on Day 5 to caravan aboard camels a mile or so into the desert, to another vantage point to see the sun. This time it was to see the sunrise across Wadi Rum. As spiritual to me as the sunset, we met the sun as the earth completed its rotation and began a new day.
There’s not much else to say, other than this completed the first part of our pilgrimage. We now end our initial days in Jordan and head toward the border crossing with Israel at Aqaba.