Today was our last day in the Jordanian desert border town of Mafraq, as tomorrow takes us south on a four hour journey to Petra.
Having previously lived in Amman, the pace and culture of Mafraq has offered a different experience of Jordan.
The tribal dynamic, which has seen large scale riots and stabbings on the campus of our hosts Al al-Bayt University, is far more pronounced than in the capital.
The town is, as my colleague harshly put it, a pound shop heaven; you may look for a prayer rug, but you will more likely find trowels, brooms, ear muffs, ostrich feather dusters, and scribble books in abundance. The more common items of Amman will be like needles in haystacks.
Taxis are hard to come by, and if you book a bus or fleet of cabs, be prepared to wait up to an hour and possibly abandon your day trip.
The food is, however, outrageously good – the knafa is the stuff of dreams and the rice dishes fragrant to distraction.
The falafel are crisp, hot shells concealing smooth green, succulent interiors, while the hummus makes your eyes roll.
And the shwerma. I haven’t had it this good, ever.
No gristle, no fat, just fine slivers of meet seasoned to perfection within wraps so thin you could trace paper through them.
Come to Mafraq for the desert ruins, glorious food and striking desert sunsets – for a day, it is worth it.