Arrived in Amman very early this morning and got to hotel (which had been switched to a different location due to pro-Gaza protests in the city) towards 02.00. Travelling with Exodus Travels, who make a feature of sustainability. Up at 07.00 and spent the day hammering around the so-called Desert Castles Loop, east of Amman, in a minibus. Roads full of sleeping policemen and extremely bumpy even when not.
Some flags flying at half-mast after the destruction of the hospital in Gaza, the blame for which remains disputed – although not in the minds of at least one Jordanian I spoke to. But the levels of tolerance and hospitality to outsiders in this country are amazing.
Saddening to see tiny remnants of reed marsh near the black basalt castle of Azraq, where Lawrence of Arabia spent some time while involved in the Arab Revolt. Interesting to think how marshes hosted renegades/freedom fighter, from Alfred the Great through Hereward the Wake to some of those fighting – or at least fleeing from – Saddam Hussein.
Spent a fair amount of time on the bus thinking through proposed covers for the new book, Tickling Sharks. Sent the options to various Volans team members and family members – and, happily, the fingers all pointed in the same direction.