Typed up at: Salome Hotel in Madaba, Sydney Hotel in Amman, Legend Hotel in Delhi
Posted from: Legend Hotel in Delhi
From Wadi Musa we took a cheap taxi to the Dana Tower Hotel. Walid was our driver and we'd be using his services again. The ride was nice and not very long. I wasn't quite prepared for how small and how deserted Dana village is. There are quite a few buildings there, but almost all of them are abandoned and falling apart. The village is set on a cliff overlooking Wadi Dana, which is a nice looking canyon. It was also very cold, with a handful of ice patches visible in the morning.
Unfortunately our hotel did not have heating, and we didn't trust the hot water enough to risk standing in an ice cold shower. Other than that it was great, though. The staff were very friendly and on top of things. The building seemed like the kind of thing you get when you add a new room every year, and the food was really excellent. The communal tent, with a minimal space heater, was also a great place to meet everybody else who was staying here. There were no restaurants in town so everybody ate all there meals here.
The first afternoon we went on a short walk. We just walked past the fruit garden, admiring small concrete gullies that had water flowing. We were also very impressed with the trees we saw, just because we haven't really seen any in a long time. The most exciting part of that walk was that the path was blocked by 3 donkeys, which are cute and really tame, but we weren't quite sure how dependable they really were. The only way around them was walking right behind them, which we did. It turned out not to be a problem.
After a wonderful dinner we went to bed, snuggling between several layers of blankets in order to stay warm. We did, but not all guests felt as fortunate. After breakfast we set off on a hike down the Wadi with Roger from Spain, and Dieter from Switzerland. In the morning it was quite cold and very windy, but as we descended into the canyon the wind let up and the sun warmed things up a bit. It was a nice walk, through some varied terrain. The river was dry all the way down, but we encountered plenty of nice trees as well as more deserty plant life. Interestingly, northern canyon wall was very steep and rocky, while the southern wall was composed more of soil and plants.
At the bottom of the canyon was a sizable Bedouin camp. 3 girls invited us for tea but we passed because we didn't feel like we had the time. They spoke mostly to Danielle, and it was interesting that even here the first question after discovering that we were married was "do you have a baby?" Further down we had a bit of excitement when we were told to pay a day use fee by somebody with no ID or much of anything. Eventually we were convinced that it was legit, and we paid our JD 7 each, which makes this some of the most expensive hiking I've done. We rode over a dirt road to a small town in the back of a pickup truck, and then Walid drove us the 120km back to our hotel.
Dana was nice, but nowhere near as nice as Petra. If we'd had more time perhaps we would have attempted some of the guided walks in the area, especially the 3 day trek from Dana to Petra.