We came dangerously close to skipping Wadi Rum, the desert where Lawrence of Arabia staged his legendary revolt against the Ottomans. The desert nights are cold and we'd been wearing our only warm clothes for several days. G made some calls to tour operators listed in our Rough Guide. We struck a deal for one night in a desert camp that included a camel ride. At least we could blame our stench on some dromedaries.
The novelty of riding a camel quickly wore off and we upgraded to riding on the roof a Toyota Land Cruiser that was built before I was born. I didn't ask how long he'd been driving it without functioning brakes, but I knew it was long enough for him to master the art of stopping by driving up sand banks, and starting it by rolling down the same slope. He was a true Bedouin and, although nomadic, one day in Wadi Rum was enough to know why he and his ancestors haven't drifted far.