What happens when you miss the last bus in rural Jordan? You hitch a ride

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Josh Johns wins this week’s Just Back travel writing competition and £250 for his account of a hair-raising journey through Jordan.

What do you do when you are stranded in Ajloun after the last bus has gone? You find Zaid and his makeshift bus service.

He caressed his misbaha (Islamic prayer beads) between his thumb and forefinger as he drove, tenderly wrapping them around his fingers. Occasionally, I’d catch his glance in the rear-view mirror; his mouth beaming in a warm smile as he uttered his tasbih for evening prayer. 

The emerald beads twinkled in his green eyes as he looked at me momentarily before zipping back to the road ahead. His bead-swathed hand thrust the gearstick, lurching the…

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