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Middle East & Africa 2009 Photography

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.

First wild camp in northern Jordan

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.

Jordanian old boy

Storm clouds above the West Bank

Dead Sea road riding

Looking out

Dead Sea cliffs

Weird weather down by the Dead Sea

Rock buildings in Jordanian wadi

Towns along the Kings Highway

Road building along the Kings Highway

Inside the ruins of Shobak castle

Shobak castle surrounds

South Jordan vista

No stopping here

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…

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