From Wadi Ibn Hammad (see previous post), we drove on to our next destination: Dana Nature Reserve. We arrived in darkness at our hotel, and had a candle-lit dinner of rice and chicken on the roof. We were staying in Dana Village, an abandoned village dating from the Ottoman period, which is slowly being reinhabited.
On waking the next morning, we had a breakfast of bread with olive oil and zaatar, jam and egg (not all together!), and arranged for a guided hike around the edge of the reserve.
The park was filled with wildlife, from lizards to colourful butterflies to vultures. We saw lots of caves in the rock, rather like at Petra.
Some caves could only be reached by rock climbing! Thanks to Mark for these photos.
Having arrived back at the hotel much earlier than expected in the afternoon, we decided to go for a walk into Dana Valley, the spectacular vista visible from our hotel.
(Arty photos here from Mark)
Intrigued by the greenery on the side of the mountain, we wandered into the vegetation. Here I ruined my second shirt of the internship, torn by some brambles as I jumped off a ledge (the first shirt having been stained with Wadi Rum desert sand).
On our return to the hotel, we had our only unpleasant experience of the weekend. In a similar manner to the taxi driver at Mount Nebo, the hotel owners decided to ‘revise’ the prices we were going to pay. Whilst it would be nice to think there had been an honest mistake or miscommunication, it seemed they were taking advantage of our supposed cluelessness as tourists. They got really quite combative when we refused to pay up the full sum – double what was initially agreed – so we ended up handing them a compromise sum, and making a quick exit before there could be any more disagreement.
We had driven along the epic King’s Highway the previous day, but that had been in darkness, so we had no idea what we’d missed until the return journey.
Real Bedouin camps (as opposed to those ‘Disneyfied’ for tourists) were scattered along the side of the road, with little fires in front of their tents.
After stopping at a café in Karak for dinner, and an element of frisson creeping in when we realised we were running low on fuel and there was no petrol station for miles, we eventually made it home. Our last big road trip in Jordan was over.