How I fell in Love with Jordan… again and again… Day Two

By Zein Quandour

Being my most important meal of the day breakfast was the first thing on my mind at 7:30 AM the next morning whilst sitting in my room’s outdoor terrace gazing at the bright and peaceful scenery in front of me. My mind was fixed on the traditional breakfast I was about to eat when I realized that Nabil and Zaid were up and talking in their room. After having the most delicious traditional breakfast along with some delicious Dana tea we drove the Belgian family to their next stop – Petra. Zaid made sure we found their preferred Hotel and we carried on to Wadi Araba’s Feynan Eco-lodge.

Instead of taking the King’s highway we took the tremendously exciting Wadi Namaleh Road. The sun was bright and not a single cloud in the sky. This uninhibited road was taking us from the tops of the Dana cliff to the steep canyons of the vast Wadi Araba. Zaid was driving a four wheeler which made us feel safe (thinking of it now, it really wasn’t!). But that was the exciting part; the unpaved roads, the high mountains, the superb colours of all the rock-strewn mountains around us. Nabil, Zaid and I were astounded with the beauty of it all. Two hours and a half later, a road sign appeared ‘The Feynan Eco-lodge’. Zaid explained to us that normally visitors parked their cars at the ‘Rashadyeh Village’ and are driven to the lodge by its employees. Having said that Zaid closed all our windows and told us to hold on tight, and we started our off-road drive to the Feynan eco-lodge. He switched the gear to the four wheel drive and off we went screaming with excitement and laughing out loud. I felt as if Zaid had no idea where we’re going and Nabil was excited about the off-road driving and I had this chilling adrenaline rush!! After an exhilarating 20 minute drive, a totally isolated lodge became visible before our eyes.

Slowing down Zaid pointed out Feynan’s socio-economic workshops. All I could think of was how this lodge was situated in the middle of nowhere, and how it blended perfectly with the colours of its surrounding arid mountains. We stepped out of the car and walked to the lodge; it was such a blistering sunny day that we couldn’t wait to sit down and, of-course, I was thinking of the tea! Being isolated from paved roads and electricity supplies, the lodge is supplied with solar power and completely candle-lit all through the calm nights of Wadi Araba. This absolutely environmentally friendly lodge was unbelievably unique and cozy, such a romantic place in the middle of the desert. Everything about this place was pleasant. We had a tour between the rooms and all around the lodge, had our tea and spent almost two hours walking around before Zaid decided to show us the old Copper Mines. We went for another off-road four-wheel Drive, which again was extremely exciting! Climbing a couple of sand hills and walking along the coloured stones of Wadi Araba, I was swept away with the desert; such an extraordinarily place full of hidden secrets. At a point we saw footprints of a hyena in one of the caves and decided to walk back to our car (I have to admit I was a bit anxious at that point). Another off-road drive led us back to the highway and on our way to the lowest spot on earth – the Dead Sea.

With food being the only thing on my mind (again!!), Zaid stopped at a small shop, bought some food supplies and then we drove for another twenty minutes before stopping the car in the middle of the desert with literally nothing around! We got out of the car, opened the trunk and started setting up a feast of tuna, sardines, mortadella, and potato chips. Eating was our next step! If you allow me to exaggerate, I would have to say that this was one of the best meals I had ever had in my life! Imagine yourself in the middle of the desert with nothing around, eating with two of your friends who also happen to work with you. Now that was something I will never forget!

We reached the Mujib reserve after almost three hours in the car; though it was my second visit to Mujib, this was going to be my first hike. We started walking through the Mujib ‘Seeq’ or gorge; Zaid guided our hike since he’d done it many times before. I never knew Jordan had so much hidden beauty; this river was Jordan’s last wild river! And what a beautiful curving river it is, a perfect blend of rocks, steep canyons, flowing waters with a remarkably rich biodiversity. We walked through the refreshing water, climbed and glided down some rocks; it was really exciting and at some points it got a bit tricky to climb. You just can’t stop your self from looking around to make sure you are capturing every single reflection. We reached a spectacular waterfall that seemed to emerge from amongst some huge rocks. We sat there fascinated with the serenity of this place on the lowest point on earth, before hiking back to the Seeq and having one last cup of the delicious traditional tea. Before you know it I was home!

I couldn’t stop talking about this trip. It’s one of those events in life that make you look at things differently. If I used to love the desert, it is one of my favorite passions now. If nature was important to me, I now have a mission to help in saving it. And if I loved my country, let me tell you that I fell in love with Jordan, again and again.

4 Responses to How I fell in Love with Jordan… again and again… Day Two

  1. sensebility says:

    It is Jordan the land of prophets and civilization; the land of beautiful nature , kind people and – although its is a small country- you can find all types of climates.In winter there is the jordan valley , in summer , there is the mountain areas where you will enjoy watching nature.This is Jordan the country which we can’t say anything about it except to pray that God will protect it and help us to serve it

  2. Neveen says:

    Tell me about Wadi il Mujeb, it’s a extraordinary place to visit… I’m happy that I’ve been there too.

    What can i say… I Love JORDAN

  3. Khalid Shaban says:

    you know how much i love you dearest daughter in low but i love Jordan much more.

  4. Great new design. Mabrook!

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