Had the day off so did a quick 40 miles to Kilsyth, up Tak Ma Doon, down to Stirling and back home.
Well it’s a nice sunny day but the doesn’t hide the fact that its still bloody cold. It’s the first ride I’ve done since getting back from Jordan so did a quick 15 miles before lunch only to discover that the garmin hadn’t recorded it [USELESS GARMIN!!] >:-( Anyhow after lunch I cycled on around the forth, and i’m calling this one 57 miles rather than the garmins 42 miles.
Well today is the day we get to visit Petra and get a guided tour of the city. This place is huge, you just don’t get the scale of the place from the guides on it. The ticket we got included a free horse ride down to the entrance of the site but I didn’t bother with this and only one person took the offer, it wasn’t that far to walk anyway. Once we hit the canyon it was pretty spectacular looking and this lead us to the most famous part of Petra the treasury building which was the one that appeared in the Indiana Jones and the last crusade. It’s an amasing site but one of many in this complex. We then left the treasury building and headed further down the canyon which opened up to reveal the rest of the site.
we carried on for another hour before we headed off for lunch and after lunch we were free to explore the rest of the site on our own. I decided to visit the monastery along with the bunk friend Trevor which was up some 800 stairs at the top of the Petra site. After about 25 mins of climbing stairs we came to the monastery which is very similar looking to the treasury building but much larger. There was an alternative view point to view the site from which involved us climbing more hills but was worth it as you can survey the whole area from here and get some spectacular views. Then it was the long walk down the stairs and back up the canyon and back to the hotel.
Tonight was also our celebration night and we ended up in a restaurant further back up the hill which we had ridden down the previous day. Again it was a buffet which left me a little disappointed as the celebration meal for my Vietnam to Cambodia ride was a set meal and a far better one than this one but I suppose beggars can be choosers. After the meal we all pretty much ended up in the pub not to far from our hotel called the cave. Suffice to say a lot of alcohol and music was consumed there and we didn’t get back to the hotel until after one in the morning. This also meant that we would probably only get about 4 hours sleep as we had to be back up again at 6 am for the journey home. :sick:
Well it’s the last day and a 06:30 wake up to a cold dark morning at the camp site. After a good breakfast it was onto the road which was to be a relatively short day with a couple of hills. Although we would be riding downhill first we would end up going back up and then down again to Petra. Before that we were hit with a sharp hill up to a fort which would be the last of the steep hills before we did the long slightly uphill to the Petra hill which we would all be riding down to the finish line at our hotel a couple hundred metres from the entrance to Petra itself.
Once we were in the hotel we had the opportunity to have a Turkish bath down at the local Turkish bath house where I took the opportunity to do some quick shoe shopping. 35 dinars later I had some second had trainers which would save my feet for the guided tour the next day. It was then off to the Turkish bath along with everyone else by the look of things. About an hour later and after some much sweating and prodding I was back at the hotel ready for tonight’s dinner.
It’s been another good if relatively quick five days on the saddle but one that I have enjoyed and one that has definitely pushed me this time round, roll on next years ride where ever that might be. :fingersxd:
So todays wakeup was 06:30 for what I would class as a meagre breakfast and with being the second toughest day was bit of an issue, but I got by. We had a 20 mins bus ride to our starting point for today and then it straight into a awesome 9 km downhill. Of course once we hit the bottom we would have to ride back up out of the valley we were in which meant we had some difficult hill riding ahead, although not as bad as yesterday thankfully. Even though todays hills are a little bit smaller I would be still cycling up over 1600 metres. So today first hill which was the hardest of the 2 we would be tackling today took us to lunch and thank god because by the time is got there I was absolutely starving and starting to worry a bit. After stuffing my face with as much as I could we were back on the bikes and heading towards the second hill of the day which would take us up to the camp site that we would be staying at for the night. Although it was the smaller hill it was still a tough one especially after yesterday’s brutal hill climb and I was very tired by the time we hit the camp site.
We’re staying at a Bedouin camp site for tonight but it’s going to be a bit chilly but a very spicy metal later should help out. Unfortunately it was at this point I realised I had left my shoes back at the Karak hotel and all I had for footwear were my cycling shoes and I was told that they weren’t prepared to send a car back specifically for my shoes. So for the remainder of the trip, until I got to Petra I was suck in my cycling shoes. Wasn’t too happy at that and along with my torch not working was looking at a bit of a rough night at the tent.
Well today was a tough one, we started with a 6am wakeup call with the best breakfast so far. Then it was time to hit the road along the dead sea. This was fine as it was flat with a few small up hills and down hills but once we took the road off from the dead sea things got serious! I didn’t know it at the time but we were in for a really big hill climb ahead but prior to this we had lunch. So once lunch was done we hit the hill. Some people called it a day at that point, as the hill was an option up to Karak but a few brave souls took the challenge, me along with them. This hill was a killer which would come in at over 1800 metres tall and it was all uphill with very few rest breaks in between. But after a brutal climb of just under 2 hours I finally made it much to my satisfaction, although I did have to use my emergency energy rations to get me up it. Karak has a crusader castle at the top where I finished but I didn’t have time to look around before we were whisked off to tonight’s hotel. I certainly was looking forward to tonight’s dinner.
Well it was an early rise today, 6 am and off for some breakfast before we start the downhill sections to the dead sea. Today will we will be doing 55 miles and most of it will be downhill . So will started riding around half seven with a quick uphill section and then it was all downhill. After 20K we stopped for a quick break and then did a small off road downhill section which was fun. Then it was back onto the road and more downhill on to the main road. From here we had a couple of more stops and then it was mostly straight and flat all the way to the holiday inn hotel, our stop for the night is right next to the dead sea. We got to the hotel by lunch time so it was food first then changed and down to the sea for a swim :evilgrin: . Swimming in the dead sea is definitely one of those bizarre experiences, you just can’t sink! Tonight we will dine well in this five star hotel and then a briefing about tomorrow and we’ll see what happens after that.
First day on Jordan and although it was a quick day it was a good hill day So we got into Jordan at 3 in the morning which meant that we only got about 4 hours sleep before we were woken up at 8 am this morning. After a quick breakfast we got our bike setup and then we off on the first leg of the day which was a tour around one of the sites of Jerash which was one of the old Roman sites. Although the ride started with a small crash where a few riders skidded off their bikes going down a slippery hill, I managed to get to the Roman site without incident. We then had lunch and then it was a quick ride back up to the hotel albeit up the hill that people had crashed on, but this time without incident. Day one done and its time for some dinner.
Cold and soaked to the skin Perhaps cycling in pouring rain and 2°C wasn’t the best idea…