I love a long lie-in usually, but there’s something about camping in the desert that makes me wake up early and be ready for a new day of adventure. However, I was still last to get up and about!
It was a perfect morning and lovely to sit on a rock and enjoy a cup of tea and a piece of toast- slightly charred from holding it too close to the gas stove!
After packing up and making sure we left everything as we had first found it we set off to explore further.
On top of a hillside we noticed some man-made walls so climbed up to take a closer look. The walls were nicely built and the dome shaped mounds in the centre of two of the enclosures were reminiscent of tumuli graves. Frustratingly, it’s very hard to find out much about the ancient remains that are to be found in the desert.
We headed out of this amazing area and drove down towards Al Ula to fill up with petrol, before beginning the journey back up to Tabuk.
We stopped for coffee at the Easter Island rocky outcrop where we have stopped a few times on trips up and down the old railway route. I had set up a Geocache here a couple of years ago so checked it was still there and in good condition. It was, but had only been visited by one person -Tulak who is a very keen geocacher from Jeddah who seems to keep a vidual on new geocaches and drives up as soon as there are a couple of new geocaches to bag!
We spent a pleasant half hour taking photographs and soaking up some sunshine before resuming the journey.
With time to spare we stopped at Muazzam station on the old Hejaz Railway and the fort close by- really interesting:) -and for the first time ever the water reservoir was completely full!
Continuing home after a great weekend spent in an area of outstanding natural beauty there is much to reflect on and give thanks to have had the opportunity to see a part of Saudi Arabia virtually unknown to most ex-pats.
However much I enjoy these weekends there is nothing more welcome at the end of it all than a lovely long soak in a bath- perhaps I’ll never quite be the explorer Gertrude Bell or Freya Stark were!!