Sunday, 24 February 2013

Winter Trip To RawDhat Khuraim

We made a return trip to RawDhat Khuraim recently, looking for bursting blooms and new green grass. This time around we went in December which is right smack dab in the middle of a Saudi winter, a totally different season from our initial trip undertaken in a roasting Saudi summer when the land was somewhat dry, as you can imagine a desert landscape would be (and you can read about that in my post RawDhat Khuraim The Kings Forest.

This trip there were a lot more people at RawDhat Khuraim.
This time, being winter, it had rained.
Rain in Saudi creates lakes and streams where none were before.
There was water in abundance.
The appearance of lakes and streams also brings out the locals.

The trusty camera was taken along and this is what we discovered in RawDhat Khuraim, December 2012 as we drove further around the Kings Forest than we did before.

Coming to RawDhat Khuraim after a bit of rain definitely requires a Four Wheel Drive.  Beside the deep channels holding a large proportion of the winter water at RawDhat Khuraim, was wet, sinking desert sand supporting the growth of numerous desert plants, many more than were around last summer, and through which we guided our 4WD in search of the perfect picnic spot.

There were numerous ribbons of tire tracks cutting their way through the foliage, the only issue was choosing one that would lead us to solid ground.  A couple of times we got it wrong and had to undertake reverse manoeuvres!  If we did get stuck we were fairly certain there would be plenty of volunteers with vehicles able to pull us out as picnickers galore were out enjoying the wonderful weather and water features nature provided.

And young men were wanting their photos taken.
Saudi blokes, we've learnt, are absolute show off's who enjoy a good time. This is not a bad thing. It's quite refreshing to meet young people who enjoy fun for fun's sake.
First there was this lot driving by on the other side of the river....

...They were so funny.  It was three o'clock in the afternoon and they were waving and calling out "Good morning!" as they drove by before stopping and calling out 'Sura, Sura', which I eventually figured out was something akin to, 'Take our picture'.

Then, as I was taking the shot above a ute came to a laughing stop right next to me and this young man jumped out and wanted his photo I obliged.

His name is Zaidan and he lives in Rumah, the nearby town.  His friend thought he was crazy asking for a photo and didn't get out of the ute even though I invited him to take part. After all, if I'm gonna take pictures of one, I might as well take pictures of all. The whole time Hubster and Zaidan were posing all we could hear emanating from the ute were hoots of laughter.

Hubster has no idea what this hand sign means but, as he got the shamagh treatment, he decided to go with the flow. We were invited to join these young men for qahwah after the photo shoot and thought, 'Why not?'

Of course, many an expat since has been of the opinion that there were loads of reasons why we should have declined the invitation, mostly related to the theme of, 'Stranger Danger in Saudi', but it was a beautiful day, they seemed nice, so we said Yes.

We learned a lot about what any decent young Saudi bloke would throw in the back of his ute when coming out for a picnic.  The little camping safe was especially nifty and we are contemplating getting one.  And, of course, everything required to cook up qahwah on the spot.  Our picnic basket was brought from the back of the Yukon and together we shared qahwah, lunch and chit-chat.  Well, as much chatter as one can with language limitations. Our knowledge of each other's language was tested.  Together we all knew enough to get by.

Our picnic spot, pictured above, was right next the a decent strip of water and gave us a great view across to a damp stretch of sand that was being used for the second most popular Saudi pass time after picnics. Hooning.

The vehicles were certainly getting a thrashing.  Even the youngsters were getting in the act as this vehicle drove past with what looked to be a twelve year old at the wheel.

The responsible adult in me, you know the one that is supposed to be all grown up and should know better, could say that young boys driving around in Jeeps in the desert is not a good idea.  However, there's another part of me, the part that loves the rawness of Saudi and how it reminds me of NZ in the good old days before we went PC overboard, that doesn't mind allowing parents to decide what is good for their kids.  And if they think they can handle a ute in the desert, then let them. (I remember making a similar decision with my just-teens girls years ago, but the vehicle was a Nissan car and we were in outback Australia).

Zaidan called his wife while we were enjoying his company, and that of his ever smiling friend, so I got to chat with her over the phone. She is from Riyadh and is learning English and this, he decided, was a perfect opportunity for some practice.

We didn't quite get around to wandering through the Kings Forest discovering blooming blossoms, but we did enjoy four wheel driving our way through damp desert sand, amongst desert plants and meeting very friendly desert dwellers of the human kind on our return trip to Rawdhat Khuraim.

Location of RawDhat Khuraim.

View Kiwi In Saudi: Tiki Tour in a larger map

Ka Kite,

If You Liked This Post Share It With Friends

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...