OMG it’s 2016!

And already it’s nearly a week old! It seems 2016 is going to pass by as quickly as 2015. A very good reason to enjoy every moment.

A week ago it was Hogmanay and we went to a town Ceilidh in the nearby Town Hall for the first time. We had a fabulous time. Before ‘the Bells’ i.e midnight, the ceilidh band, a group of 5 local lads who were home from University, but definitely knew what they were doing played two sets of Scottish Country Dance music. Right from the first dance the floor was full! And not just with us old ‘foggies’ who had been brought up with these dances but a really good mix of children and young adults who were definitely having fun.

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It was a great start to the New Year and enlightening that although the old tradition of ‘First-footing’ is definitely a thing of the past, families are celebrating the coming of the New Year with an alternative Scottish tradition- a ceilidh.

Slainte Mhor!   Cheers!  Good Health for 2016. May it be a good year for us all.

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Return to the desert.

At last the weather has cooled down and we had no weekend commitments so it was time for a long overdue desert trip.
We headed to an area that we have explored quite a lot but its amazing how driving round a different rock or heading down a wadi the opposite way can result in some interesting finds or beautiful scenery.
As soon as we headed off the Tarmac road we noticed a bird of prey soaring above us. One of our friends has a powerful zoom lens so he took this shot.

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We later identified it as an imperial eagle.
Soon after we found a secluded shady spot for coffee where we were entertained with the calls and aerobatics of at least 3 sooty falcons. Again I have to thank my friend for this photo.
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One of my passions is finding some rock art. I wasn’t disappointed with a couple of good sites.

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And of course there’s the camels! We still can’t resist a photo stop when we see a herd.

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We were amazed to see how green some areas still were after the long hot summer. It certainly make you think that under the wadi there is still some moisture to be reached by the well adapted plants. We found this amazing plant growing up the rock face inthe spring and were interested to find that it was still as green now as then.

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And of course I found somewhere to set up a Geocache- in fact I hid 2!

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Roll on next weekend when we hope to get out again.

Geocaching

About 10 years ago I read an article about geocaching and thought the idea of using a GPS to look for a hidden ‘tub of treasure’ sounded fun. Really enthusiastic I went on the website to see if there were any geocaches in my area of Saudi Arabia. Alas, not a one! And that was the end of my geocaching for a few years.
Going exploring in the desert has been a weekend interest of my husband and I for so long and it was on one of our expeditions a couple of years ago that I thought – ok there are no geocaches here but what’s stopping me from hiding some? Confidence for one thing as I’d never even seen a real life Geocache to get an idea of what to do. Luckily, by now the Internet was on hand to glean some information and ideas.
I set about collecting a few small items to put in the ice-cream tubs that I had decided would be a reasonable size of container for my ‘hides’. Pencils and notebooks were also searched out in the local stationary shops and I put together my first few boxes ready for our next desert trip.
I always try to find a place of particular interest so that the person finding the cache won’t just find the ‘treasure’ but actually experience something more.
After my 7th hide I was surprised one day to receive an email telling me that someone had found my geocaches! He had travelled up from Jeddah – a mere 11 hour drive!- for the weekend just to ‘bag’ them! Since then he has returned on 2 more occasions to search for my hides and always gives me good feedback on his experience – mainly positive but a few times critical of my inaccurate co-ordinates! Now, each Geocache I set up I take special care as I do not wish to disappoint my keen follower who travels so far just for my geocaches!

20130430-204456.jpgMy last Geocache- my 30th:)
Have I ever found one for myself? Yes I have found a grand total of 11- 3 in Jordan, 1 in Saudi Arabia and the rest in Scotland.
Interested? Check out http://www.geocaching.com