Stunning, Stormy Jordan

I got stoned in Jordan. I also got tomatoed, window-framed, slapped and sworn at. When you’re alone, language-less, and unable to understand why you’re on the receiving end of several daily doses of hurtful xenophobia, it’s pretty tough on morale.

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Despite such incidents, there were positive reasons for the country being so memorable. Epic skies dominated the short winter days. The Jordan river valley was a steaming, heaving dose of rural society and agriculture, punctuated by military checkpoints and glimpses of the Palestinian territories. The Kings Highway was a full-on thigh-burning rollercoaster of cavernous wadis and cold windy plateaus. And the interior deserts were a feast of texture and rock and sand and emptiness of a magnitude I’d never before seen.

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It was a shame to pass through so quickly – a symptom of having just set out from Turkey, alone, with a vague intention to head south for Africa, and a desire to put as many miles behind me as possible before I was tempted to turn round and come back…

The journey recounted in this archived post is now the subject of the award-winning documentary film Janapar: Love, on a Bike.

Click here to watch the trailer in a new tab →

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