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A Day in the Desert – Landscape, Culture & Adventure

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Sean Chinn takes a break from diving in Aqaba, Jordan to spend a day in the desert…

Wadi Rum is a protected desert wilderness covering 278 square miles. It’s a vast wilderness featuring dramatic sandstone mountains, roughly an hour’s drive from Aqaba. Wadi Rum is a perfect destination to add to any dive trip while visiting Aqaba, Jordan.

Our transport of choice for our day in the desert was a selection of 4WD pick-up trucks with makeshift but comfortable bench seating in the back for an open air adventure. It really was as fun as it looked as we sped and bounced our way through the sandy, uneven terrain. The vast landscape really took my breath away as we made our way past the sandstone mountains that towered above. We made a quick stop along the way to take a short walk up a sandy hill to gain a panoramic view of the dramatic landscape. The views were reminiscent of the pictures you see of the surface of Mars and this is one of the reasons numerous film directors have used this location to represent Mars in films.

We stopped to sample tea made in a traditional way by the Bedouin who have called this place home for many years. Now you might think being an English bloke I might be partial to a cup of tea or two; however, I’m really not a big tea drinker but I have to say the tea here was really tasty and something I could get used to.

After another short jeep ride we reached our lunch destination. Rahayeb Desert Camp was beautifully laid out with the decor being quintessentially Arabic. It is a luxury tented camp that allows guests the option to stay overnight. Unfortunately my trip was only a day trip but I will be back to enjoy the night sky in the desert with an overnight stay.

Our lunch was a delicious treasure of the Bedouin culture. Zarb is the process of cooking the food underground in earth ovens. The food is cooked on a barbecue rack inside a metal oven casing placed in a pit in the ground. A metal cover is placed on top and it’s covered in a blanket to stop the sand that is placed over the top getting onto the food. The food was truly flavoursome and plentiful, leaving me comfortably full.

Our last adventure of an amazing day came courtesy of a camelback ride into the sunset. It wasn’t completely as glamorous as it might sound. I nearly went headfirst over the front as the camel stood up and I must remember to stretch next time I get on one. My legs were starting to feel it a bit as I’ve never been the most flexible of people. It was, however, completely worth it. The camels had a great character about them with mischievous personalities and taking a slow walk with them, while admiring the stunning sunset, topped off a great day.

I’ll be back!!

Sean Chinn’s scuba diving adventure started in a freezing cold quarry back in January 2011. Maybe the reason he wasn't instantly hooked! However, after an amazing trip to Indonesia in 2013, he realised he needed to see more of the underwater world. With no photography background, he enlisted some help in developing both his diving and photo skills. This kickstarted his diving and underwater photography adventure which has become something of an addiction. Seeing and photographing wildlife is Sean’s real passion in diving but he is always keen to try new ideas.

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Fourth Element X Sea Shepherd

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This year on Black Friday, fourth element announced their new partnership with Sea Shepherd, encouraging people to move away from mindless purchasing and to opt-in to supporting something powerful.

For 40 years Sea Shepherd, a leading non-profit organisation, has been patrolling the high seas with the sole mission to protect and conserve the world’s oceans and marine wildlife. They work to defend all marine wildlife, from whales and dolphins, to sharks and rays, to fish and krill, without exception.

Inspired by Sea Shepherd’s mission, fourth element have created a collection of fourth element X Sea Shepherd limited edition products for ocean lovers and protectors, with 15% of every sale going to the Sea Shepherd fund to help continue to drive conservation efforts globally.

“Working with Sea Shepherd gives fourth element the opportunity to join forces with one of the largest active conservation organisations in the world to try to catalyse change in people’s attitudes and behaviour. Fourth Element’s products are designed, developed and packaged with the intention of minimising our impact on the ocean environment, and with this partnership, we will be supporting the work of Sea Shepherd, in particular in their work on dealing with the twin threats of Ghost fishing nets and plastic pollution.”

Jim Standing fourth element co-founder

Read fourth element’s Sea Shepherd Opinion Piece HERE

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Dive entrepreneur Clare Dutton voted one to watch!

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Director of Duttons Divers, Clare Dutton, has been voted as one of the top 100 female entrepreneurs to watch in the UK, a huge achievement, emphasising her dedication and commitment to the dive industry and growth of the business. 

Clare started diving at the age of 18 and, once qualified as an instructor, decided to start her own business. Having no funds to do so, she took out a business loan to purchase three sets of equipment and a trailer to travel the UK and teach. With a garden shed as a storage unit and her bathroom as a drying room, Duttons Divers was born!

Since then, Clare became the youngest PADI Course Director at the time, and has developed the business into a well established and renowned UK dive chain. With two dive centres, Vivian Quarry, Llanberis and Hafan Marina, Pwllheli, and two dive boats, Little Viv and Sea Quest, the business offers high quality equipment and facilities to offer bespoke training and guided dives.

Clare says: “I am extremely honoured to be selected as 1 of 100 female entrepreneurs in the UK. I have devoted a lot of time to develop the business since starting, and have always striven to ensure that it is at the highest level it can be, whether that be acquiring top quality equipment, having our own facilities or to just showcase North Wales and the amazing diving that we have here. It’s great for this to be recognised and fuel the passion to develop this even further.

“Its definitely not been easy, and I am sure it never will be because I will always want it to develop and not just settle. The ridiculously late finishing, finding out who your ‘friends’ are, working out accounts, marketing, and every other element of a business is massively stressful at times… but then stepping back and seeing what it has all achieved makes it worthwhile. I am very excited for the future of the business and where it is headed.”

To read the full article and the 100 entrepreneurs to watch, go to: https://tgr.ph/partofthe100

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