07.01.2008 5 °C
As if I had not done enough trekking in Wadi Rum, my next stop is Wadi Dana, another great trekking destination north of Petra. Dana village is an ancient site protected by the Jordanian government. The entire village is built with stones and resembled any village mentioned in the bible. I was especially delighted to see donkeys and horses roaming freely in the rubbles of the stone houses, streets and aisles.
The trek from Wadi Dana to Wadi Fenan was fairly easy, although steep at time and very rocky, not my ideal trail choice. This nature reserve are active breeding ground for protected animals such as caracat, nubian ibex, african gazelle and various birds, although sightings of their night hunters are very rare.
After spending a night with a family in Griegra village, another Bedouin village close to the Dead sea. I headed north on the Dead Sea Highway and passed through numerous checkpoints in close proximity to the Israel border. After a short visit to the Wadi Mujib, another nature reserve close for winter, I visited Bethany, the site on Jordan River where Jesus baptised by John at age 30 before going into the wilderness. Although Jordan river is now quite polluted and muddy as ever, its reed banks had not lost one bit of its blibical aura. A family with two young girls all got baptised with a priest in the river right across from Israel territory when I arrived. A few gorgeous feline residents guarded the border with an equally gorgeous Jordanian soldier.
Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth (400m), is where Amman beach is located. A handful of tourists stripped off in the cold weather and floated themselves in the saltest sea on earth. I, however, prefered to simply wet my feet in the waves and walked along the hard salt structure formed on the shallow edge.
After a short stop at Mt Nebo where Moses is supposed to be bured, I finally made myself to the capital of Jordan, Amman. Old downtown Amman is a sea of beige houses built on steep mountain sides. Traffics are not as chaotic as Cairo but crossing the streets still takes some courage.
I visited the Roman theatre and Citadel during the wet and cold afternoon and settled down at Wild Jordan, a real refute for nature-lovers in this busy city, high above downtown, for afternoon tea and some leisure reading. I then spent the next hour walking through lines of stores trying to find my way back to the cold room in my hostel.