The Land of Sand
I would have never imagined to experience that many great adventures in this dry country. It all started with meeting some local strangers who became my good friends later on. One of my amazing desert expeditions was my trip to “ the Edge of the World.”
Understanding that this country has conservative culture that abides by a strict dress code, I was hesitant at first. But since I was curious and eager enough to explore the nature of Saudi Arabia and unwind away from work, so I decided to go.
It was a wonderful sunny Friday, the 10th February 2017. I woke up early and organised my bag for the trip. At 8 o’clock, I met my friends at a local restaurant. We had breakfast while waiting for others to arrive. I was so excited. I had lots of images in my head, and mixed emotions. Our cameras were all set to capture each moment while traveling.
We departed around 11 o’clock. There were twenty-five people in the group. A convoy of seven cars on the slope of the desert. I was in the car with a Saudi friend, an Egyptian couple and my roommate. The conversations were getting more interesting as we traveled, sharing our experiences and trying to get to know more about each other.
Our first adventure involved trying to get into a small dark cave. We were all very curious about what was inside. Some of our friends went down first to check. They convinced us to follow them after confirming it was safe. I couldn’t believe what I saw. It was amazing.There were lots of white sparkling crystals everywhere.It was the first time I saw such a view. Stalagmites and stalactites were uniquely formed.
Another thing that caught my attention was the tiny creatures living inside the cave. Our voices echoed through the cave and the sound of bats welcoming us back. We tried to continue walking along the hollow tunnel. The oxygen supply started to decrease. At the center of the tunnel a flock of bats flew over our heads. We happily watched them as we spotted them with a UV light. It felt so magical with white crystals covering the background.
We returned to the cars and continued our journey. Camels were everywhere along the way. They were different in size, posture and colour. All were searching for the grass surviving among the dunes.
As we arrived to our destination, we decided to leave the convoy at the bottom of the dry Rocky Mountain. We gathered and started trekking to the peak. The view was fascinating. I felt a little nervous and afraid near the edge. While a part of me felt happy and excited to reach the top. All my hard work had paid off.
The view of the slopes and waves of the sand was so appealing. It felt unique. It was once a sea long time ago. We saw fossils and shells on the ground.The sandstorms have sculpted some magnificent formations of sand and rock.
As it started to get dark we drove to the nearest dam to find a place to rest. We stayed under a big tree in the middle of the desert. We sat in a big circle, drinking Arabic tea and coffee, exchanging ideas, experiences, travel plans, and our success stories. Under the strands of moonlight, we had a sumptuous and a delicious dinner. Eventually we sorted out our things and loaded them back into the cars and bid goodbye to each other.
We drove back to Riyadh with a fabulous experience behind us. It was astounding experience for me. Not only the view but the people.. As strangers become friends, more fun and adventures can follow.