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Travelling The Incense Route: From Arabia To The Levant In The Footsteps Of The Magi

The Incense Route is one of the most ancient and important highways in the world. It was once a rival to the Silk Road, at a time when faith in the mystic power of incense was at its height and its traffic - frankincense and myrrh, spices from India, gold and exotic African animal skins - was the lifeblood of the countries through which it passed. Barbara Toy set out to travel the length of this long-forgotten route at a time of particular turbulence in the region and became the first western woman to have made the journey. Beginning in Bir Ali, Can'a of ancient times, she passed through war zones in Yemen, joined a band of pilgrims as far as Mecca, forged on to Jeddah and Medina, explored the breathtaking Nabataean city of Madain Saleh and then turned north, to Midian, Aqaba, Petra, Amman and finally Damascus. 'Travelling the Incense Route' is both a gripping account of intrepid travel and a portrait of Arabia unlike any other.

Barbara Toy was a fellow of the Royal Geographic Society for her visits to Iceland, Yugoslavia, Greece and Lebanon, she later became the first Westerner to set foot on the summit of Mount Wahni in Ethiopia and received the Rover Award for her transit of North Africa from the Niger River to the Mediterranean. She is the author of several acclaimed books, including In Search of Sheba, A Fool on Wheels, Rendezvous in Cyprus and The Way of the Chariots. She died in Banbury in 2001 at the age of 92.

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