Monday, 27 August 2012

Desert Walking (Take 2)

In Saudi, desert walking (otherwise known as hashing) is an excellent pass time if you're looking for a pass time in Saudi.  Unless you're averse to summer heat - then perhaps you should consider Mahjong.

Saudi's themselves love to visit the desert but they rarely go walkabout while out there preferring to picnic and chit chat or dune bash their 4WD's.

Expats, on the other hand, tend to get tired of walking on treadmills looking at gym walls and the great, hot outdoors begins to look very inviting for those eager to walk or jog in a change of scenery.  It is possible to head out  into the desert on your own for some desert walking (though that's not highly recommended) or you can have a go at the Saudi version of the Hash House Harriers.   

As with most activities available in the country notice of desert walks is word of mouth.  Asking around your compound should get you connected with a fellow desert walker or two. 

Our dear friend Alan wasn't familiar with desert walking the day he was invited along.  He thought it was a stroll down the road with a stop off at a cafe.   He went a little unprepared - no hat, no water, dressed in nice pants.  Naturally he sweltered and the experience scared him off joining the Riyadh hash ever again. 

If you go prepared it is possible to enjoy yourself.
Once you reach the desert location you have the option of choosing a long or short walk.  The long walk is usually more difficult and tends to tackle the rougher terrain.   The short walks tend to stick to the flat areas providing more time to enjoy the scenery and is good for the unfit, very young or gammy legged.

Running in the desert is also possible but that is only for special people.

Summer is here and the feint hearted will decline a walk in the desert parched by the scorching day but the die hard Saudi expat who loves desert walking with friends will be out hitting the rocky trails.

Ka Kite,

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