Guildford Travel Club Presents

Jordan – On Foot and by Bicycle

21st February 2017

Chris Beynon

Chris went to Jordan in 2015 to cycle from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea, and liked it so much he went back in 2016 to explore it more on foot.

Jordan’s tourist industry, and the country in general is suffering from the war in neighbouring Syria, yet the country is for the most part very stable and safe to visit. The benefit as a tourist is that apart from Petra you can often have the sites pretty much to yourself. The downside of course is little income for a country that is very dependent on tourism, and simultaneously has maybe one million Syrian refugees to support.

Jordan packs a lot into a small area. Much of the country is desert, with the Wadi Rum area being most well known, yet the north is surprisingly green. You probably know that the Dead Sea is 400m below sea level, but maybe not that there are mountains up to 1800m.  Almost anywhere you go is mentioned somewhere in the Bible or in Lawrence of Arabia’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Then you have Crusader castles such as Karak, Roman cities such as Jerash, and of course the number one tourist attraction of Petra.

Everyone knows the famous image of the Treasury at Petra, as featured in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and many tourists on the typical cruise ship day visit get little further than there. Yet Petra was a large city, and even with four and half days over the two visits Chris can’t claim to have seen it all. Maybe another trip is needed…

wadi rum cycling
Desert cycling
The young camel may be going hungry?
Just one string
Navigating a slot canyon