Monday, July 15, 2019

Day 17: Dana Biosphere Reserve

March 17: It sprinkled and rained periodically throughout the night, but it was the strong winds that did the worst to disturb my sleep. By morning, the rain had finally stopped although ugly clouds and wind still continued.

We had our usual 7:00am breakfast and 8:00am departure, and almost immediately out of camp we had to ford a creek. Normally, the creek is probably dry most of the year, or maybe a trickle, but with all the rain during the night--which might have been worse higher in the mountains where the creek started--there was a pretty good flow running. It wasn't dangerously high or fast, but there was no way across without getting one's feet wet.

Usually, I'll tromp through creeks and let my shoes get wet but I decided to take my shoes off for this creek. It looked very sandy and easy to walk on. That's the main reason I usually keep my shoes on--to protect my feet from hard rocks that would otherwise be painful to walk on which, at the same time, gives my feet a more solid footing. But the looks turned out to be deceiving and immediately I felt small rocks biting into my feet which hurt. I limped carefully across the creek. With every step, it seemed like I first stepped on soft sand which immediately washed away with every step leaving small, sharp rocks in its place.

I eventually made it across and sat down to put my shoes back on while watching everyone else cross. It was mostly uneventful, although Helena from Australia gave everyone a scare when she tried to throw her shoes across the creek to the other side and almost didn't make it. That could have turned out badly. The current was definitely fast enough and strong enough to have carried her shoes downstream never to be seen again.

We passed some old ruins before arriving at the Feynan Ecolodge where we took a short break and explored the facilities. The place was beautiful! But we would not be staying here. No, our accommodations were further ahead and in the town town of Dana.

Feynan Ecolodge

To get there, we had to walk through the Dana Biosphere Reserve, Jordan's largest nature reserve and a beautiful setting.

But it was uneventful and relatively easy until the last few kilometers when the trail followed a steep, gravel road into town.

We arrived at our hotel but rooms weren't handed out immediately. It was quite cold now that we had stopped hiking. The indoor accommodations for the common area were crowded with people so I continued waiting outside in the cold and tried in vain to keep myself warm. I was really anxious to get a room and pull out all of my layers.

Due to the limited availability of rooms, everyone was forced to double up and share. All the rooms had names.  Later in the evening, we compared notes with other hikers  as to who had the most interesting name such as Crazy Camel, Crazy LoveGateway to the Paradise of Love and Tears of the Night. Tears of the night?! What happened in that room?!

The rooms were unheated so even inside, it was still just as cold as the outside. When I took my shower, I couldn't get any hot water to come out of it at all. It was gone! I suspected that there had been a run of hot water with everyone now trying to take showers at the same time.

I got my hair wet and washed some dirt off my legs, but the water was too cold to do much of anything else so I gave up. I'd take a proper shower later.

I put on my long underwear and all of my layers. Even though we were indoors, it was still one of our coldest nights on the trail!

I was laying in bed trying to get warm when I felt something jump on my back. I almost screamed in fright but it turned out to be a cat. Where did that come from?! Obviously, it snuck into our room. The door of our room had a 5-inch gap at the bottom and I guess the cat felt like it could came and go whenever it pleased. Scared the crap out of me, though, before I realized it was there.

Dinner was at 7:00, so we headed to the restaurant then and ate before returning to the common area and socializing for the rest of the night. I was a little sad, though. We were losing a lot of hikers today who had been with us since the beginning at Aqaba that we'd grown fond of. In fact, the only people left who started from the beginning that weren't leaving were the thru-hikers like me. I don't know the exact number of people who were leaving, but it was a substantial group including my trash bag supplier, Puk. I needed a new trash bag supplier.

And thus ended another day on the Jordan Trail.....

The rooms in the Feynan Ecolodge were beautiful! We were a little sad not to be staying here!

Fossil on the trail!
The Dana Biosphere Reserve was beautiful!
This is Puk, my trash bag dealer and her last day on the trail.

That looks ominous.... Glad I didn't have to go in there! =)

My room was small and cute, but so freakishly cold!

This cat sneaked into my room and scared me! It's also readily apparent how cold I am since I have my jacket on, and my scarf--and I'm under all the blankets! The cat snuggling up with me helped too. =)
Back in the common area after dinner. (And look at all the heavy jackets people are wearing! It's cold, I tell you! Even indoors!)

1 comment:

Mary said...

Heavy jackets and bare feet with flip flops! I need warm feet! How lucky you were the cat chose you to sleep with!