Welcome; I'm Saleh. With my wife and family we offer every kind of guided tour in Rum. Camping, 4x4 safaris, mountain scrambles, bedouin cooking and culture, desert trekking, secret valleys and special places. Ten different tours! Mix and match from each tour to create your own individual experience. Stay in
Saleh's Safari Camp near Jebel Khazali to explore the real Wadi Rum.
Just above Rum village and an easy walk from the restaurant and the ruined Nabatean temple, is one of the most special locations in Wadi Rum. And one with a genuine link to Lawrence of Arabia. It's called Ash Shallala and is indeed Lawrence's spring.
On September 13th 1917, in the afternoon, Lawrence returned to Rum from Aqaba:
"so, to get rid of the dust and strain after my long rides, I went straight up the gully into the face of the hill, along the ruined wall of the conduit by which a spout of water had once run down the ledges to a Nabatean well-house on the valley floor. It was a climb of fifteen minutes to a tired person, and not difficult. At the top, the waterfall, Al Shallala as the Arabs named is, was only a few yards away".
This passage is from Lawrence's book 'Seven Pillars of Wisdom", Chapter 63, (page 363 in the Penguin paperback edition). Eerily, as you'll see when you visit, the words could have been written yesterday; have a look also at the photographs in the middle of Tour 5 The Legacy of Lawrence. It might be useful to print this page and bring it with you, so you can compare this 90 year old description with the rocks and bushes and flowing water you will see for yourself.
"Its rushing noise came from my left, by a jutting bastion of cliff over whose crimson face trailed long falling runners of green leaves. The path skirted it in an undercut ledge. On the rock-bulge above were clear-cut Nabatean inscriptions, and a sunk panel incised with a monogram or symbol. Around and about were Arab scratches, including tribe marks, some of which were witnesses of forgotten migrations: but my attention was only for the splashing of water in a crevice under the shadow of the overhanging rock.
From this rock a silver runlet issued into the sunlight. I looked in to see the spout, a little thinner than my wrist, jetting out firmly from a fissure in the roof, and falling with that clean sound into a shallow, frothing pool, behind the step which served as an entrance. The walls and roof of the crevice dripped with moisture. Thick ferns and grasses of the finest green make it a paradise just five feet square."
Lawrence goes on to describe how he strips and bathes there in the water so "deliciously cool", until he was disturbed by "a grey-bearded, ragged man, with a hewn face of great power and weariness", whose mutterings caused him to muse about local attitudes to God and love and Christianity.
For a geological explanation of the sources of water in the desert of Wadi Rum (including Ash Shallaha), see the passage from Ammar Khammash behind the "More . . ." button on the wadi rum web-site; it's near the top of the third column.