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CONCLUDED 19 MAY
NEXT ROVING RACE: ECUADOR 2015

Location & Culture

JORDAN
Jordan, (officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan) lies in the centre of the Middle-East. The capital is Amman. The total land area of Jordan covers 89,342 sq. km. (34,495 sq. mi.) and has a population of 6.5 million.

Jordan’s landscape is strikingly diverse. It has barren deserts, fertile valleys, colorful rock and sand mountains. The Arabian Desert covers more than half of Jordan’s land, though Jordan's western region is covered by forest and arable lands. Jordan is home to the lowest point on earth, the Dead Sea.

The course of RacingThePlanet: Jordan will start in Wadi Rum and pass through four deserts before reaching the finish line which is in Petra.

PETRA
The ancient city of Petra is hidden amid the dramatic rose-colored sandstone mountains and breath-taking landscape on the eastern edge of the Wadi Araba desert. It is a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO, who have described it as “one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage". In 2007 Petra was voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Petra was carved into rock more than 2,000 years ago by the Nabataeans and it prospered in the first centuries BC and AD, serving as an important junction for trade routes that linked China, India and southern Arabia with Egypt, Syria, Greece and Rome. Over time, many earthquakes hit Petra which triggered a slow decline of the city as many buildings were never rebuilt. These earthquakes, combined with changes in trade routes eventually led to the downfall of the city.

By the middle of the seventh century Petra was largely abandoned, except by local Bedouin from the area. In 1812 the ancient city of Petra was opened up to the Western world upon its “re-discovery” by Swiss explorer Burckhardt 1812.

Today, Petra is Jordan’s most valuable treasure and greatest tourist attraction.

CULTURE
The people of Jordan are primarily of either Palestinian or Bedouin descent. The Bedouin's are traditionally "desert dwellers" and were nomadic, moving across the desert with their animals (camels, cows, goats and sheep). There are less traditional nomadic Bedouins in Jordan these days, but during RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012 you will pass-by some Bedouin camps which are recognizable by their black goat-hair tents. The tents that competitors will sleep in at each campsite during the event are the traditional Bedouin style, but are made of a lighter, brighter fabric instead of the heavy black goat-hair.

Many of the local team for RacingThePlanet: Jordan are of Bediouin descent. During the event as well, as before and after the race, you will experience the Bedouin characteristics in the Jordanian people, in particular their hospitality. This comes from the harshness of desert life - no traveller is turned away.

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