TWC reader Emily Conrad-Pickles is riding from London to Cape Town. She outlined the start of the journey here, and in this post she reveals what it’s like to cycle one of the most iconic ancient trading routes in the world: Jordan’s King’s Highway – and details how you can do the trip yourself.
“Jordan is like the eye of the storm – over there you can see Israel and just a few hundred kilometers away is Iraq. My country is surrounded by problems but what people don’t realise is how peaceful it is here. It is such a shame”
It’s 3pm and the sun is still high in the sky; it’s hot and we’re sipping tea in a Beduoin tent. We’re taking a much needed break from a long and tough hill climb out of the Wadi Mujib; Jordan’s ‘Grand Canyon’. In front of us is a magnificent view that seems to go on forever and we feel like we are the only people in the entire valley.
We could stay here for hours and admire the view – it is a welcome reward for cycling up such a grueling climb. We get chatting to Sammi, the café owner who tells us about the surrounding area. Sammi tells us: “Jordan is like the eye of the storm – over there you can see Israel and just a few hundred kilometers away is Iraq. My country is surrounded by problems but what people don’t realise is how peaceful it is here. It is such a shame.”
That’s the problem that Jordan faces though: perception
Jordan is a joy to cycle through, and we completely fell in love with this country: a country so peaceful and friendly that you would never know that this beautiful oasis is surrounded by trouble. That’s the problem that Jordan faces though: perception. Jordan is not at war, nor does it have any safety issues whatsoever.
We recently travelled the length of Jordan on bicycles as part of our journey to cycle from London to Cape Town. Throughout our stay in Jordan this beautiful country consistently inspired us, from the strikingly beautiful landscapes, incredibly friendly welcome from everyone we met and a country so packed full of history, it is hard to find many reasons not to visit.
By exploring Jordan on bicycle, you’ll be able to experience the country at your own pace and at times you’ll feel that you are the only ones enjoying the spectacular views. It will take you to the lowest place on earth, the Dead Sea, and up to stunning mountains, gorges, pine forests, desert wilderness, UNESCO World Heritage sites and beach resorts. It won’t all be easy riding, however you’ll have the opportunity to take on some spectacular hill climbs into and out of gorges through this ancient holy land.
The Jordanian Tourist Board helped us to put together an itinerary to give you a flavour of cycling Jordan…