I fell in love. Fell in the best way, as in taken off guard. The desert. Hot, dry desolate and stunning. Falling in love with the desert of Jordan was easy. The heat and the shimmering haze on the horizon blended with the red sands that changed slowly to deeper reds. We stopped in the canyon where T.E. Lawrence met and conversed with the then king of Jordan.

We met no king, but a wonderfully friendly guide who was lumbered with a few more Europeans. On starting to chat with me asked if I were English, yes I replied. Where are you going next he enquired. Into the desert for a walk I replied. Do you have water, one bottle which I waved as evidence, do you have headgear he ventured, no I said, do you have a map, no I confirmed. Have you sun cream he asked with increasing concern. My smile told him all he needed to know.

Ahh, he retorted, you really are “English”.

From sleeping in tents in Wadi Rum, to the magnificent ruins of Jerash, Jordan was a gem of a holiday. No air con sleek tourist buses for us. Backpacks and aging taxis and old coaches. Wonderful. The people were friendly and thoughtful whilst the food a delight.

Sitting in the desert smoking, legally, a bit of Hubble bubble and marveling at the sky is never to be forgotten. On the way back we met up with the drunks and mouthy tourists we had left at Eilat. Everyone to their own, I guess!


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