The Dana Reserve is very cool. The facilities are pretty good for a place thats basically starting out by Jordanian standards. You arrive at a “tower” base after which you’re taken downhill by a “shuttle” (an old pickup) towards the campsite which is complete with a large beduion tent and small white individual tents that take 3 people (and a child). They have clean bathrooms and nice showers which was suprising. Surrounding the campsite are beautiful scenic hills and we did some hiking around a pre-set trail. I discovered that the trail was pretty easy to follow regardless of the uphill spiral. I also discovered I hate hiking in 33 degree weather.
Getting to Dana was not so great…
This was partly a road trip in a BMW which had to be stopped at least 10 times as it ran out of water and overheated. Thankfully the people of Kerak and Tafilah are the most generous and hospitable people on the planet Earth. Not a minute after a car breaks down will you not find someone stopping to help you and inviting you to dinner and to spend the night.
When the car broke down yet again on the tall peaks between Kerak and Tafilah we were rescued by an electrician who discovered our fan wasn’t working.
Long story short, we were supposed to be in Dana at 9:30pm and we arrived at 12:30am
To make matters worse, there are hardly any roadsigns telling you where to turn or go, or if you’re on the right track.
Thankfully, we got there.
Getting to Wadi Rum is easier. Though suprisingly it’s not what I expected. First, I didn’t think it was 40km east of the Desert Highway, and second, I didn’t expect to see civilization. Instead we found little towns of people, mostly bedoiun origin, populating the dry landscape.
Anyways, Wadi Rum is just one of those places that needs to be experienced to be fully understood. The sunset, the sunrise, the mountains and the rusty red sand.
I’ve posted some pictures…there are too many of them for one post so I’ve picked my favs and y’all can rifle through them at flikr
For those planning to go to either Dana or Wadi Rum, either Jordanians or tourists, here are my recommendations:
– Mosquito/bug repelent (lots of it)
– A Camera
– Water (lots of it)
– Stay at a place called The Captain in Wadi Rum
– Take a Jeep tour at Rum at either Sunset or Sunrise
– It willl get scorching hot in the morning at Rum
– Prepare for massive Star Gazing
– Wadi Rum is a trip that should involve a cold swimming pool in Aquba, consider mixing the two.
– Take the Bus unless you’re adventerous by nature or your car is a 4×4
– If you insist on road trippin’ there, stop and ask for directions…yes…even if you’re a man