Last weekend we went down to Dana Nature reserve. A set of valleys and hills that pours out into the Jordan Valley. After spending a night out under the stars we went to Dana village, which is a tiny village that pops out of the side of these huge mountains with dilapidated 15th century stone houses, half abounded and collapsed, overlooking this huge valley. That day we did a 5 hour hike down into the valley and heading toward Israel, It was dry and hot but bearable, we basically descended the mountain and then walked up the dry river bed for hours. The land scape was incredible, you could see the Bedouin Caves (oh yea that morning we went to see a Bedioun, all we did was just walk up to the tent, yell for the man of the house, say hi and were invited in for Tea and Goat cheese.) back to the land, it could have been the Southwest US, it was almost surreal to realize we were in Jordan. On the way back, we began the last part of the hike, which is a good mile or two mile of serious incline, and in hot desert sun, the chain smoking Jordanian couldn’t handle it. We were almost half way to the top and he just stopped, you could tell he was not going to make it. Me another guy ran ahead to try and get water but by the time we got to the top they had called for a truck to come get him (luckily we were on the accessible part) because even with more water he wouldn’t have made it up. They went and got him and had an ambulance waiting for him at the top. There were a bunch of locals checking out what was going on, they had assumed it was some dumb foreigners but when they saw that it was the Jordanian that was being taken away they all looked confused. We followed the ambulance to the hospital, but when we got there, probably 25 minutes after the ambulance, we found our friend Fadi, wandering around we an IV in his arm, smoking a cigarette yelling at people because they didn’t bring him water. It was probably the funniest thing I had ever seen, just so ridiculous. And as for the hospital, everyone and there mother was smoking, and nobody seemed particularly interested in doing anything cleanly. After having all our information taken by the cops at the hospital (seemed pretty shady but they were nice about it) and seen Fadi smoke probably four more cigarettes, not something I would expect a hospital to allow after coming in with heat stroke, we finally headed out. We went back to the little village and stayed a the Tower hotel. We slept on the roof for around 5 bucks. The hotel overlooked the valley we had just hiked and at night had a beautiful view. The strange thing was that at the end of the valley you could see all these little cities high in the West Bank, the were really well lit, tons of them. It was Israeli settlements, it made things so much more surreal to sit on the roof and just start at the lights and know that those were settlements. The sunrise in the morning was also beautiful, the village just had this soothing cool vibe.
Just to throw it in there everyone on the trip got sick to varying degrees except me and the other guy mike, we deducted that it was the goat cheese, they just have a stronger stomach than us I guess.