Tuesday 9th March (continued)
Our border crossing into Syria (after Libya and Egypt) would be like comparing Harrods with Happy Shopper. Better organised, better looking, more light, less rat droppings in the offices and very importantly, far less pong. Surely it shouldn’t be beyond the wit of man to put all your different offices in a logical row – maybe even with numbers and clear signs. Instead, the Libyan and particularly the Egyptian border authorities have turned make busy, jobs worth, paperwork and red tape into a priceless art form. Self-important, unfriendly and on the take describes many of the officials we came across. If it wasn’t for the Tourist Police who genuinely wanted to help and do the best by us, i don’t how any new visitor with a motor would know where to start. So back, to the Syrian border. The marked improvements made the whole experience far less stressful and thankfully about 3 hours shorter. However, our happiness was short lived as we approached the yellow smog enshrouded melee that is Amman. We had just about got used to city driving techniques common to this neck of the woods but combine it with thick, choking smog and we were well on the road to killer headaches. Danny was about to get off and give up for an hour but we pushed on through.
Today also rewarded us with more of the spectacular scenery from sandy mountains to more rolling desert. And, I’m getting a biker’s tan – from the upper lip to just below the eyes and nicely topped off with a cheery tipped nose.