Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Frolicking at RawDhat Khuraim

'Lush' is not a term one tends to use when living in a desert country.  Neither is 'frolicking'.  Yet the other week Hubster, I and a couple of friends went frolicking in the lush growth out at RawDhat Khuraim.  Well, they would have frolicked if they weren't acting so boringly mature.

The weather has been fabulous in and around Riyadh these last few months.  The winter and coolish spring lingered on much longer than usual and, as the temps were so favorable, we decided a drive to the Kings Forest for a weekend break out of town was in order.
 The morning dawned dusty and windy so we decided to wait till the afternoon when things looked a little better (though not much) and packed the Yarris with our lunch and picnic gear  (Hubster decided not to hire the Yukon this time, much to my disgust).  We had invited Mr Oz and Ahmed along for a ride too, as they had never been to the Kings Forest before, so the car was rather full.

Saudi is changing at a rapid pace.  That is obvious every time we return to a previously visited location.  Almost the entire drive Hubster and I were commenting on the development that is everywhere.  Newbies might think we are a bit barmy calling the tents, trailers and real estate huts that have popped up along the roadside 'development', but when you compare these sights with the barrenness that was here before, 'progress' or 'development' are exactly the right terms.

RawDhat Khuraim is obviously a very popular place to visit in the spring, as evidenced by the number of cars lined up along the fence line and the tents available for groups to hire.  As the wind was still whipping about we decided to leave our picnic gear in the car, thinking it would be too uncomfortable attempting to cook over a fire under the circumstances.  The blokes determined they would only go for a short stroll and then find somewhere else to settle for a cuppa.  It's unfortunate that bloke minds aren't really very flexible.  The further we walked in toward the Kings Forest, the calmer the air became, diffused no doubt by the lush greenery growing in abundance.

I was amazed.  Absolutely amazed.  Especially when I compared this trip to our first visit three years ago, and I wished we had carried the chilly bin and blanket in with us, so we could sit back and really enjoy moment.  The closest I got was a sit in the grass while Hubster snapped a quick photo before all the men folk decided they'd 'Been here, done that, now it's time to go.'  I don't think Mr Oz and Ahmed realize how much of a treat they were getting seeing RawDhat Khuraim so beautifully covered in plants.  The locals, however, knew exactly how lucky they were, and had come out in force, setting up picnic spots all over the place among the grasses, daisies and various other foliage.

Though the boys were in a hurry, I wasn't, so they had to wait about while I took photo's.  After all, one has to remember this day!  Now, when someone says to me 'RawDhat Khuraim is beautiful and green in spring' (something I admit I used to doubt given the state of the place on our first visit here),  I have photographic memories of that fact.

The boys, who had found the RawDhat a little ho-hum, were quite keen to inject a little excitement into their day, so when a suggestion was made to hire quad bikes from the 'entrepreneurs' renting them on the roadside, everybody was up for it.

It turns out that Mr Oz had never ridden a quad before, but after a brief lesson on 'This makes it go and This makes it stop' from Hubster, he was having a fine old time buzzing along on the bike.

Ahmed, who had grabbed the bike by the horns and was off like a rocket, ended up on his arse!

About now is when I say something like: Quad bikes aren't toys and, if you aren't careful you can hurt yourself on them.  Of course, you hurt yourself even more when you fall off onto hard, stony ground, (as out by the Rumah) than you do carping off onto sand!

We picked up the bike, payed a bit extra to the entrepreneur for bike repairs, and then headed into Rumah to get 'The Fallen One' cleaned up at the nearest gas station with washroom facilities.  Around behind the gas station we found a perfectly sheltered, quiet spot to set up our table and chairs, pull out our thermos and munch on our sandwiches while debriefing about the day which, I have to admit, mainly involved laughing about 'Ahmed's Antics'.

Directions to RawhDhat Khuraim.
RawDhat Khuraim is so easy to find.  Head out along the Dammam highway and simply follow the signs.  Or key in the co-ordinates from my Kiwi In Saudi: Tiki Tour Map  (25.336579N, 47.304382E).

View Kiwi In Saudi: Tiki Tour in a larger map

I suggest you go visit RawDhat Khuraim before the summer heat takes it all away again.  And enjoy frolicking, if the mood strikes you :)

Ka Kite,

1 comment:

  1. very nice post about middle east travel, i like the picture when you driving four wheeler
    Nice Post and keep sharing
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