Jordan Mission outcome – outstanding success!
Following the safe return to Agency HQ in Paris, the Jordan mission achieved its objectives of collating and disseminating critical knowledge and data with key international operatives, whilst also undertaking reconnaissance in strategic locations including Mount Nebo, Madaba, Petra and the deserts surrounding Wadi Rum.
|Operative at bag drop|
Fellow international operatives provided useful information, whilst also being highly critical of a dossier I had prepared and presented for the Agency. However, all of which will provide invaluable material for future mission campaigns.
After a number of clandestine night encounters with similar agencies involving numerous courses of delicious Middle Eastern food, and apparently local beer Amstel (?) and regional wine, all of which was consumed in traditional fair so as not breach my undercover status, the mission headed 3 hours south to Mount Nebo and Madaba before reaching Petra.
|Secret 6th century Byzantine map|
An inspection of the Mount Nebo, the site where Moses is allegedly buried, proved to be interesting in furthering my Byzantine historical knowledge, as did Madaba where I spied a 6th century map of the Holy Land made entirely of mosaics and inlayed in the floor of a Greek Orthodox Church.
Arrival in Petra required an immediate Turkish hammam. Through the hottest and steamiest hamman ever endured I was able to gain credible insight into the evening’s trek to the Treasury of the ancient city of Petra under the cover of darkness with only candlelight to guide the way.
Petra by night, the stirring and longing sounds of the traditional single string Arabic guitar (similar to a sitar) and the echoing sounds of the flute, sipping hot sweet tea perched cross legged on a mat in the sand I came to learn more about Arabic music.
|First glimpse of the Treasury at the end of the Siq|
|The Treasury - Petra|
|Back of the jeep en route to camp - Wadi Rum|
Another 2 hour journey further south and I arrived at the 4x4 jeep which was stationed to rendezvous with me. I threw myself and my bags into the back of jeep tray and crossed the desert at Wadi Rum to reach my secret training camp. The harsh terrain meant that the run up the deep ochre coloured sand dunes tested my endurance.
|Agent training camp - Wadi Rum|
|Palace Tomb - Petra|