Day 047 Jordan : Al Azraq - Dana

Day 047 Jordan

 

Trip Distance 341 km (212 m) Total Distance 8037 km (4995 m)
Diesel Costs JD0.335    
       
Stopover
Rummana Camp, Dana
Wild camping N30.69746 E35.58043 The view of the Dana Nature Reserve is magnificent

Sully started first time this morning (phew!) and with our thermal mugs full of coffee we set off swiftly to leave behind an unpleasant stay.  The trip today was to include the Dead Sea and then onto Dana Nature Reserve where we heard you could camp in the car park. 

Our first stop was a car park at the north of the Dead Sea where, although you can swim (and I use this term loosely as it's more like bob) for free, there are no other facilities like a shower and the area is littered with rubbisha_SG102056 .  It's essential to have a shower straight after swimming to rinse off the salt as the salinity is so high (30% currently) that the salt burns your skin if you leave it on.  So we had a little walk down to the water.  It was here that we first experienced the heat of Jordan -  it was about 35degC with a warm, no make that a hot wind blowing onto the sea but more about this later.  So it was quickly back into Sully and the cold of the aircon (PS: folks, the aircon in the Puma models of the landie is fabulous!) and a drive to Amman Beach.  Here we paid JD12 each to get to the beach but there are swimming pools, showers, takeaways, umbrellas and a private beach onto the Dead Sea with Dead Sea mud packs.  As it was still quite early in the day, we paid the money and decided to hang around relaxing here for the day. We left our dip in the Dead Sea till later on in the afternoon and we can report quite confidently that the experience is really weird!  On walking into the water it looks like there are plates of rock under your feet but they collapse as soon as you step on them and suddenly you realise that it's actually salt...a_SG102059   And the astonishing gasps and squeals come from everybody as you drop into the water and immediately bob to the surface  a_SG102058 and try as you might, you can not sink.  With the heat of the afternoon sun baking us and the salt starting to sting a bit, we got out of the water, had a rinse off and watched a group of tourists pay to be completely covered in black mud..... uumm not our cup of tea really.  As the sun was sinking a little lower over the sea, we decided to head off to find our next stopover at Dana.

The drive to the reserve was uneventful but we were marking the change in the landscape - now a rugged, desolate, dry and hot mountainous view.a_SG102065 a_SG102069  When we arrived we first went to Dana Guesthouse to see if we could camp here but they directed us not to Dana Nature Reserve but to a campsite called Rummana a couple of kms back along the main road.  The sun was just beginning to set and whilst we were there we met up with some news friends.a_30052009258 Thanks for the photos, Yusuf, and for your kind words of welcome.  Say hello to the boys from us please.

We finally made it to Rummana Camp but it isn't a camp site for general camping at all.  It is in fact, a Bedouin camp where you pay to stay with them for the night.  We went and spoke to the manager as it was now getting late and, as expected from Jordanian hospitality, he allowed us to camp in the picnic spots free of charge for the night.  Later as a bit of a thank you we went down to the Bedouin tent and had some tea and a shisha with them as we watched the night stars over the reserve and for the first time saw the ISS zip past.  In one word - magical.