Badawï Trail, Syd Stelvio | Day 2 Dead Sea to Amman – 210 KM
There were a few experiences with members of the public today, some positive and some less so, particularly with one or two groups of over-excited school children. Most though were just delighted to see the cars, and looked on in amazement, with the older cars and noisy Porsches in particular causing a stir. There was traffic to deal with as well, with the towns of Afloun and Kuranjah adding some excitement before lunch, buzzing with Jordanians going about their day as horns sounded and policemen blew their whistles as they directed traffic. There will be plenty of times in the days ahead where we will see precious few people in the wilderness of the desert, so on days like these, it’s nice to take in the flavour of the places our hosts call home, especially those settlements that are off the tourist trail.
The final time control of the day was situated at the Royal Automobile Museum, next to the King Hussein Mosque with its opulent architecture. Here, the cars were welcomed by various dignitaries of the museum and the drivers were treated to some splendid hospitality that included a tour of the Museum’s backrooms, as well as cups of the most potent coffee I have ever tasted, the piquant liquid no doubt perking up those that were perhaps flagging in the day’s heat. This was a real treat and the museum, the first of its kind in this part of the world, provided automobile interest to all tastes and included many rare exhibits.
After a total of two regularities in two days, it feels somewhat foolish to be discussing the competition just yet, but there is a ten-second gap at the top with the first position occupied by Bill Cleyndert and Emily Anderson in Bill’s Sahara-winning Bentley. Second place is currently held by Argentine pairing Jorge Perez Companc + Jose Maria Volta in the gorgeous Chevy Coupe with third belonging to Mike Dreelan and Bob Prybus in the flying Lagonda.
Tomorrow sees a longer day in the saddle again, with 442 kms in the offing, on a route that will end in the incredible Wadi Rum, after the event’s first test and desert driving sections. In fact, there is plenty of competition tomorrow with a regularity as well, so by the time the competitors are safely into the desert camp at Wadi Rum there should be plenty for the timekeepers to get stuck into and perhaps the first early indications of who may have a bit of form.
Until the ‘morro!