Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Day 18: Rest Day in Dana

Karolina has once again provided a guest blog post about our zero day in Dana! =)


March 18: We woke up in the cold and damp Dana Tower Hotel. Everything there was cold and damp: bedrooms, bathrooms, the dining room. I blamed these conditions on the fact that the hotel was built from rocks – they were probably still cold after the long winter. It is probably much nicer to be here later in the spring or in the summer when temperatures are much higher and you want to cool down.

After breakfast Ryan and I went for a walk around the village. We had heard there were some trails in the area and wanted to find out if we could go for a day hike. We headed towards the Visitor Centre to check out the possibilities.

Dana Visitor Centre was located on a hillside with a magnificent view towards Wadi Dana and Wadi Araba. Unfortunately it turned out that all the trails were located quite far away from the village and to reach them we would need to rent a car with a driver. The only hike that starts/ends in Dana was the one down to Wadi Dana where we came from the day before. Neither Ryan nor I felt like going too much out of our way to reach trails, so we decided to stay in Dana and call it a real rest day – we hadn’t had one since… well, before our arrival in Jordan! We still did some more walking around the village, though – up the hill towards the school and down the hill towards some ruins.

There were quite a number of ruins in Dana – abandoned houses built from sandstone and clay, eroded upon exposure to the elements. The village of Dana is very old – it dates back some 500 years to the Ottoman empire, but the ruins of houses we walked around were younger – “only” about 150 years old. Inhabitants of those houses left Dana when a city was built on the other side of one of the surrounding mountains and many new jobs became available there.

After the lovely walk we returned to the hotel and joined people from our hiking group on the terrace where we could sit in the sun or shade (whichever you prefer – I usually go for the sun while Ryan prefers shade), read books, chat, listen to donkey cries and generally chill out. Since the sun was shining bright I decided to do the laundry in the sink and hang my clothes outside to dry.

The highlight of the day was a journalist from USAID BEST who came to interview us about our experiences on the Jordan Trail. The video interviews can be watched on the USAID BEST social media - #ThruJT.

Karolina is interviewed the USAID people.

Here are a few of the clips I found of our interviews.

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