Day 337-341 – 2.-6. April 2014

Day 337: It was time to leave Amman, so Patrick picked me up from the hotel and drove to the embassy.

I met the military attache whom I know from my stay 3 years ago. We talked about my plans and when Partick´s wife came they invited me to lunch.

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After I finally got out of the city the terrain was very hilly and when a guy with a pickup truck offered to give me a ride I happily accepted. They drove me about 25 km to Jarash.

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Jarash was a old Roman city and they still have a very impressive archeological site. But I saw it three years ago so I was not eager to go in. Instead I cycled on. After a few steep climbs it was getting late and I found a hotel with a camping ground. They wanted to charge me almost 11 € for the night so I decided to camp in the wild.

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Day 338: In the morning I had to climb some more hills but then I reached the highest point and descended into the Jordan valley. At about -200m I had to go another 20 km to the border crossing.

The exit procedure on the Jordanian side was fairly quick. I had to pay 10€ exit tax (so the visa was not totally free) but then it was not possible to cycle to the Israeli side. For about 500m I had to take a bus.

On the other side they scanned all my luggage an also wanted to look in almost every bag. After 30 minutes I thought I was done but an immigration officer asked me so many questions that it took another 2 hours till I was finally approved to enter Israel.

My plan was to go 20-30 km to Sea of Galilee but because of the unexpected delay it was getting dark. About five km from the border I found a place to camp.

Day 339: The next day I cycled 40 km to Ein Gev, a kibutz on the east side of Sea of Galilee. I bought some groceries in a store and just north of the kibutz there was a nice official beach where I stayed for the next three nights.

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Day 340-341: The next days I just relaxed, read a book and enjoyed the beautiful weather. They had even showers and toilets at the beach and I was very suprized when the water was hot.

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I also meet a German cyclist who made it from Germany to Singapore and we shared some experiences.

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Day 337: 33,58 km  all: 10.694 km

Day 338: 73,24 km  all: 10.767 km

Day 339: 44,05 km  all: 10.811 km

Day 333-336 – 29. March – 1. April 2014

Day 333: After a fairly good breakfast at the hotel I was not really eager to start. There was as 500m steep climb out of the valley. I knew it would take at least three hours to get to the top and it would be very hard.

After 50 meters a pickup-truck stopped and asked where I am from and where I what to go. The guy offered to take me to the top for 5€. I quickly accepted and we loaded the bike and equipment onto the truck.

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20 minutes and 7 km later we were on the top of the valley and I was very happy I was on „holiday“ from my one rule.

I took the kings way to the north but after 20 km I decided to go back to the desert highway to go to Amman.

The next 20 km I was flying. Because of a strong tailwind and a slight decent I was speeding between 40-45km/h. To bad it was only for a short time.

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On the desert highway the wind was now coming from the side but I could keep up a good pace and managed to go 100km that day.

I found a place for my tent and after dinner I was ready for bed.

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Day 334: Wind, wind, wind!!

In the night the wind was picking up and was shaking my tend pretty badly.

I had very strong sidewind and when a trucks passed I sometimes almost lost control of the bike.

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( Can you tell where the wind is coming from? That reminds me to get a haircut :))

The whole day was a struggle against the wind and when I hit 66 km I was done and looked for some protection from the wind.

Just off the road there was a abandoned building and a stone wall. I used the wall as protection against the wind. While I was setting up my tent a guy came to me. He was from Egypt and lives in one of the adjacent buildings. He just wanted to know if I need any help.

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Day 335: luckily the wind was gone and the 60 km to Amman was easy.

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I could not make contact to a comrade I met 3 years ago when I was in Amman. He works at the German embassy so I just went there. He was not at his office but someone gave me his number and we arranged a meeting in the evening.

When Patrick arrived he helped me find a hotel and took me and my stuff by his car to the place. My bike could stay in the embasy. It was getting late and I was happy he offered to take my laundry to his washing machine.

Day 336: I slept in and took a long walk through downtown Amman. I also got a haircut, which was long overdue.

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Day 333: 101,00 km  all: 10.527 km

Day 334: 66,15 km  all: 10.593 km

Day 335: 66,99 km  all: 10.660 km

Day 330-332 – 26.-28. March 2014

After an early breakfast I was ready at 9am to start into a beautiful sunny day.

Jordan

The 25 km back to the main road was easy and fast because the road had a down slop and there was almost no wind.

I had no money and was looking for a ATM-machine to buy some water. For the next 30km I could not find anything. In a village I asked some people and they said the next bank is in Amman.

Then suddenly on the highway, like an oasis a big filling station appeared in the distance. I was happy and knew I could at least pay with my credit card to get something to drink.

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When I got closer I saw the gas station was still under construction and I only could get some questionable tab water.

In the next little village I managed to find a shop owner who exchanged my last 20€ for a very bad exchange rate. But at least I could buy some fluids.

The terrain was now rising again. I had to climb from 800m to 1600m and when I finally did it it was time to find a place to stay for the night.

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In the mountains the temperature dropped quickly and the wind was chilly. I set up my tent and was happy to get out of the cold wind.

The next morning I climbed to 1700m. The highest point of my trip so far.

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The rest of to 40km to Petra was mostly downhill and so at about 2pm I was in front of the entrance to Petra.

The entrance fee to see the ancient city of Petra is very expensive. 50€ for one day or 55€ for two days.

I thought the best option was to find a hotel and take the 2 day pass. I quickly found a hotel close by and at 4pm I entered Petra.

I walked through the siq, saw the treasury and took the 7 km climb to the monastery. I reached  the monastery just before sunset and was alone to enjoy the magnificent view.

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I had to go all the way back and so it was already dark when I reached the exit. But without the many tourists Petra is even more amazing.

The next day I went back and this time I took a pass leading me around a mountain and on top of the treasury.

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I had a wonderful view from above.

Petra was a unbelievable experience and if you can you should visit.

 

Day 330: 76,64 km  all: 10.385 km

Day 331: 40,98 km  all: 10.426 km

Day 328-329 – 24.-25. March 2014

After some slow preparation and packing I was ready at noon to go to Jordan.

Ameer tried to ride my fully loaded bike and we said good buy.

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The border was very close and after a few minutes I reached the Israeli side. I had to pay the export tax of 107 ILS (22€) and was released to go to Jordan.

I got a free visa to Jordan (normally it cost 20€) because they want more visitors to Aqaba. Everybody was very friendly and the most words I would be hering from now on was: „Welcome to Jordan“.

I took the main road to Amman. It was a long climb to 700m and many trucks were using the road.

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Two truck driver stopped me, offerd me something to drink and a snack to eat and afterwards gave me a bottle of drinking water.

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After 35 km I looked for a place to camp. It was difficult to find something in this desert. I finally settled behind some communication towers.

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The next day after 15 km cycling I came across a sign I had to follow.

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I heard  a lot about Wadi Rum but did not know where it was. It was only 25 km to go so I decided to take the detour and take a look.

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At the visitor center a guide approached me and explained what I could do and see. The prices where far beyond my budget and the guide offered me a jeep tour, accommodation, dinner and breakfast for together 45€. That was all I had.

He took my stuff and my bike on his truck and we drove 7 km to the entrance of wadi rum. Some of his family took care of my bike and luggage and we picked up another 2 people for the jeep tour.

The tour was almost three hours long with several stops and some amazing views.

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After the tour he brought me to his home and showed me a small room. It was empty and very dusty but he took a broom and cleaned the floor. I set up my tent inside the room and later on he brought me some rice and tomatoes with tea for dinner.

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It was not very luxurious, but to see wadi rum was really a experience I don´t want to miss.

Day 328: 35,03 km  all: 10.272 km

Day 329: 36,41 km all: 10.309 km