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.
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.
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…