I wake up with the evidence of horrible night sweats. With the day of travelling ahead, I make a change and decide to make it downstairs for breakfast which turns out to be particularly bad. We're being picked up at 12:00, so decide to waste some time in the Handicrafts market.

Oncw the time is properly wasted, we check out a little early and catch our drive when he turns up. And we're able to leave significantly earlier than expected.

Our Jordanian driver's lane discipline is as approximate as his speed, and his reaction to fielding a phone call is to slow down while still on the motorway and then gradually drift into the hard shoulder over the course of minutes. The phone call alerts him to the fact that he's left Damascus without picking up the group visa he was asked to.

Naturally, he decides the right course of action is to continue down to the border with all due haste and to tell the visa-bearer to join us there by taxi. Through checkpoints. And once he's failed to shout the border police into giving us an exit visa we're stuck mid-border until our visa catches up with us.

Half an hour later it's there in the care of an efficient Syrian who breezes through the formalities before getting back in his taxi for Damascus. Meanwhile our driver launches onward toward Jordan, hurtling through the remaining Syrian checkpoints until we're finally waved through the last Syrian gate by what appears to be a plumber.

The 3 km of no-mans-land passes in a blueshifted blur ending abruptly when we reach the queue for entry into Jordan. It's characterised by comedy queue-jumping, jostling for position and bean theft. Actually a bit disappointed in our driver's barging - he starts well by creating a line of his own and shamelessly driving past half the queue, but then fails to protect his position and allows a succession of fruit-laden cars to re-take.

The queue is finally unwedged by a coach getting through and the three-lanes-in-the-space-of-one fight their way through the checkpoint.

Thw next queue has a lane marked "Diplomats and Businessmen", which aggrieves our driver with its emptiness. He has two attempts at taking it which both end with official types setting him straight. On the third try he nips through, and around customs, without being stopped. Which is nice.

Then he demands customs do the needful, to which they reply with a collective shrug which communicates that our driver has managed to get through customs without collecting the relevant documentation and hence he can now neither go forwards or backwards, nor be inspected. Luckily our driver has another wizard wheeze. He waits for a vehicle to leave an approved line and motors us back up it in reverse. We get our paperwork and are free to move to the next stage.

The next stage is the visa office, where the highly trained Jordanian visa monkey sees the Saudi multiple entry visa stapled into my passport and decides the obviously correct course of action is to tear it out.

Suitably stamped, we race onwards through the mountainous Jordanian roads to Amman, bumper to bumper where possible until we finally reach our hotel.

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