Friday, 27 May 2011

Edge of the World Again

We tried to find The Edge of The World again.

This time we actually made it....Yay, cheers, whoop whoop, party!
This time we did things a little differently to the our first attempt at trying to find the Edge of the World.

For starters we had directions.
Secondly we had a 4WD Yukon.

I'd like to say we went with a group - but that would have been too sensible.

We did mention to a friend where we were going, we even invited him along but he had to work his weekend...

Our initial plan was to head out early in the morning but Glenn had his own weekend work to attend to before we could hit the track, so we left a little later in the day.  Not something I would recommend for desert trekking newbies.

I have learnt, in my short twelve or so months here, that night falls very quickly in the desert and if you think it looks boring and monotonous in the day time, try finding a land mark to get you out at night -  the desert really is a different world.

Suffice to say I was a bit tetchy about our late departure time, but Glenn was full of gusto and determination so my doubts were temporarily packed up and locked away as we headed out.

We travelled over familiar territory.  Mr Noors taxi friend had sent us in the right direction on our first trip.  This time, though, we turned right at the first gateway security tent and, as per the instructions, headed west.

It's amazing how much faster you can drive through the desert in a rented 4WD Yukon with a bald headed, determined, yeehaa Kiwi at the wheel. 

The track was rough in places and, being the passenger, I was thrown around as Glenn barrelled his way through numerous dips and trenches.  The thought that we may break an axel and get stuck out here did cross my mind on at least one occasion.  It also occurred to me that there was no way the Camry would have got us through to our intended destination even if we had made the right turn last time.

I was also thankful that the Yukon had a compass.  With no signposts in the desert we were relying heavily on our printed out directions and they stated "follow any convenient track for 22 km heading towards west".  Anytime Glenn deviated on a direction other than West, which he did twice, we realigned the vehicle in a westerly direction and kept going.

Payback came when we spotted, at the top of a rise, a gap in the escarpment.
This must be it....

....This is the point in the trip when I screamed at Glenn and prepared to jump out of the vehicle.

The Barrelling Bald one was paying no  heed to my advice to slow down in case there was nothing on the other side of said gap.  For some unexplainable reason, his childish boy brain kicked in, obviously having been dislodeged from its current place of residence within his grey matter and resurfacing due to the bouncing around we'd been doing for at least the past half hour, and he raced to the top of the rise heading straight for the edge of the opening.

He thought he was hilarious.....I was not a happy wifey.

He said, 'Come on Gae, I wasn't really gonna keep going'
I said, '&*^*%....idiot!
He said, 'Aww, Come on Gae, I was only kidding around.
I said 'Whatever! &;*%*.....egg!'

It took more than a few minutes for me to forgive him.
Thank goodness for the desert - there is a lot of it.  Ample room to head in opposite directions till Barrelling Bald ones apologise - silly bugger!

The view over The Edge of The World doesn't allow one to hold a grudge for too long.  It is quite stunning, though I have to say, it took a while for me to be awe-inspired.  The build up from those who have come here before and aniticipation had led me to expect more.

On contemplation, it is awesome to think that the plateau upon which Riyadh resides, and the edge of which we had driven rapidly up to, was forced to its height by volcanic activity beneath it.  The Edge of the World is simply an opening in the plateau, formed when a portion slipped to the depths below, that allows one to look out upon the rest of the desert beyond.

After having a look around and taking a few photos I unpacked the picnic and we sat at The Edge of the World revelling in the view, the quiet and the fact we'd made it.

Eventually, as the day started to cool, it was time to pack up the picnic and head for home.  As a bonus, I got to drive. 

We could have slept in the Yukon, but I had not brought blankets.  Maybe we can save that for when we come out to The Edge of The World again.

Map To Edge Of The World

Ka Kite,

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