I stood at the top of the trail and pondered pedaling down into the valley. Something inside me wanted to turn back and said that it was a bad idea, I ignored and held the brakes on a long rough trail into the Dana Biosphere…
I left Petra and picked up supplies to give to the local Bedouin in the remote village of Feynan. During my last day in Petra I met a man who had visited the village earlier and had mentioned the poverty and poor living conditions of the Bedouin there. School note books, several dozen pencils, 4 kg of sugar, black tea, lighters and bread filled my already stuffed panniers, and I pedaled a long steep 60 km to the historic village of Dana. From Dana it is a 30 km hike on a steep trail down into and out of a protected reserve, and spent close to an hour contemplating my next move. If I take Gaby down into the valley there is no turning back, I watched the sun move behind rain clouds and freewheeled into the canyon….here we go I thought.
After a few km, I was about ready to give up. The road, a parts, was so steep and rocky that it was too dangerous to ride and I had get off the bike and push. I looked back to the top of the mountain and wondered if I should turn back. I decided to call it a day and slept a few km from the trail head, listening to the howl of Jordanian wolves throughout the night. Local Bedouin had warned me earlier not to camp in the canyon, but I ignored their warnings as I thought it was an attempt to sell me a hotel room. All night I head the wolves hunting and I shivered at the thought of them finding my tent. I awoke the next morning to the sight of goats eating my prayer flags strung across the top tube of Gaby. After a few cups of Bedouin sweet tea I decided to push on and had a long hard day pedaling through rivers, up rocky trails and on sandy roads leading into narrow canyons, finally I arrived at the remote village of Feynan.
I stopped for tea, and ended up dressing several of the inhabitants fly infested, pus filled, flesh wounds with my first aid kit. I didn’t have any gloves and after about an hour my complete kit was empty, the locals had used all my bandages, antibiotic ointment and alcohol wipes! I dressed a total of 5 wounds then was offered a place to stay and served sweet tea with fresh goat milk. Outside the village I met a Bedouin man who worked for the school department, he invited me for more tea and I gave him all the school supplies to distribute in need. He offered me a place to camp and I slept easily in the warm spring night, dreaming of infected wounds.
The next day I pedaled north to a small village south of the Dead Sea called Al Mazara. There I met with a friend from Dahab, Egypt and we loaded up on supplies and hitched to a nearby Wadi for an adventure. We hiked through the Wadi (canyon) for several hours and found a nice sandy spot to camp. We gathered wood, built a fire and swam in the river till nightfall. Telling stories, eating humus and drinking tea till late evening. Rain came by surprise and soaked my tent and our sleeping bags but the night was warm and the good vibes continued on.
Today we hiked out of the canyon and tomorrow I am headed explore more of the Dead Sea.