Two hours south of Amman and close to King’s Highway lies the Dana Biosphere Reserve. My son Lorenz and his wife Ale joined us for a two day hiking experience.
For the Wadi Dana trail (16km), we started in the almost abadoned 15th century village of Dana (1700 m), and walked down to Feynan Ecolodge (50 m below sea level). At the start, heavy mist covered the valley, wonderful relief from the burning sun. Birds were chirping, a sound not so common anymore in Jordan. The area is home to 180 species of birds and 600 species of plants. Mammals like ibex, foxes and wolfes live here.
Having lunch under a shady tree
The area of the preserve is rich in copper. 6000 years ago, copper mining started in the valley. Over 100 archeological sites document this history. The Jordan government does not allow copper mining anymore.
A taxi picked us up from Feynan Ecolodge. We were told that it is a two hour car drive to come back to Dana Guesthouse (the place we were staying overnight.
Feynan Ecolodge, reachable only by 4WD
However, the car soon had a problem. It only could only drive in the 4th gear without stopping. This worked OK in the Wadi Araba, the flat desert although there was no airconditioning and it was very hot. But as soon as we started to climb up to Dana, the car completely broke down. We had to get out and wait for a replacement.
The next day, we decided to hike the Al Ghuweir trail, a trail leading along a riverbed and through a Siq. Lorenz drove with his 4WD from Shobak castle down a windy, steep road to the entrance of the trail.
We were prepared to swim through part of the Siq, but there was no water at all. At one point, a rope was leading over a rock to the lower part. The place was described as the “waterfall”. Anna-Sophie climbed down and went farther into the Siq.
We had lunch and ate for desert a melted Austrian Zotter chocolate. Yummy!
In the evening, we picked up my car at the Shobak visitor center. After we drank tea with mint and sugar, the peope of the visitor center showed us typical Bedouine objects.