Jordan Shore

The Only Way is Amman

Duncan’s Adventures in Dana-land

The following events have been painstakingly pieced together. Largely thanks to the discovery of a briefcase, found floating in the dead sea containing hundreds of negatives and reels of film. Cryptic writing across the inner-lining read ‘it’s all a bit #IndianaJones to be honest’. This has yet to be deciphered. Harrison Ford has refused to comment.

Full-time Arabic student, amateur life coach and semi-professional inhabitant of Jordan, Duncan Shrubb always enjoyed his mid-week getaways. As soon as he heard tell of Dana bio-reserve, located somewhere south of Amman there was no stopping him.



Opinion divides at this stage. But when laid bare the facts are thus: Duncan was in possession of a recently acquired colloquial Arabic phrase book, which (it has been confirmed by the bus driver) he read intently en route to Dana. Sadly no copies remain. But something in the pages clearly affected him. From this point he insisted on taking his friends on a journey in search of the knowledge. One of the only salvageable films lasts for just three seconds and shows Duncan in his seat shaking uncontrollably as if in a trance, white knuckles visibly gripping the book to his chest.

The village of Dana, situated on the edge of a large wadi (valley) is home to beautiful views and impressively expensive food. A sanctuary for the wandering French, the touring Dutch, the round-the-world-cycling Turkish, the ageing Germans and the squeeze-every-penny-out-of-them Jordanians.


 Ancient texts tell of a wise man who dwells in these hills. He makes his home in a cave, feeds on washed up turtles, and has a penchant for discussing socialism at the slightest provocation.

Before he knew it, Duncan and his friends had been loaded into a van, driven 40 minutes and dropped at the end of a dirt road overlooking an imposing canyon. Hand gestures were flourished as an indication of the direction to be taken, and a time for the pick up was vaguely agreed.

A meandering rocky path, giant centipedes, mysterious nesting grounds, menacing boulders and devious water pools. He had been warned of these treacherous conditions. So like any good boy scout, he came fully prepared with an iPhone and a bottle of water.

No trace was ever found of the group, whispers were heard. There was talk of mutiny. The last possible sighting was of a man of European origin harassing tourists from atop a large goat. But sadly the trace went cold three months ago. For when the tourists were asked they couldn’t remember any details but kept repeating a single phrase ‘the turtle is coming’ over and over. Before passing into a succession of unwakeable comas.

You be the judge…

the group set out

the group set out

a tricky crossing

a tricky crossing

an early casualty, but they had to go on

an early casualty, but they had to go on

navigating the nooks

navigating the nooks

cruising through the crannies

cruising through the crannies

Did they find the wise man?

Did they find the wise man? And, is that a turtle on his staff? 

false hope...the last recorded image

false hope? the last recorded image


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This entry was posted on October 9, 2014 by in Amman, Jordan, Year Abroad and tagged , .
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