Go Canucks Go!

January 22-February 14

I nearly forgot… another highlight of my trip back home… unexpected free tickets to a Vancouver Canucks game!!

While I was in Saudi Arabia, I had a checklist of things I wanted to do when I went back home on leave, and going to a Canucks game was one of them. As a note… nothing make a Canadian, especially an expat Canadian, feel more patriotic than a good game of ice hockey!!!

One day, a pair of tickets unexpectedly landed on my brothers desk at work, but he didn’t want to go, so he offered them to me. Obviously I gladly accepted… and took my sister along with me!!

So we were off to Vancity to take in a game at Rogers Arena… Vancouver Canucks vs. Winnepeg Jets! A Canadian rivalry!!

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We stocked up on some beer (just for me cuz my sis is procreating… just found out I’m going to be an auntie again and I’m SOOOO excited!!!!) and pizza… and found our seats…

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It was a really intense game… lots of action… and a really good fight at one point!!! There were so many sticks and gloves littering the ice…

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For me though, I loved being there with my sister, because we’ve never watched a game together before… obviously on TV but not live before! The hour-ish drive into the city was really nice actually because it gave us time to just sit and talk together… have a good heart to heart, because we’ve been missing those lately. And as much as I adore my niece… she’s a little bundle of energy and makes it difficult to get into a deep, focused conversation with my sister when she’s around!

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Then of course… the energy and excitement of the crowd at Rogers Arena… yelling at the ref and shouting suggestions to the team… singing/chanting along with the crowd… Fin – the orca, the team mascot… the wave that goes around the arena…

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And through all of it… being there with thousands of people, passionate about the sport… in a mixed crowd. Men and women sitting together and mingling freely, publicly drinking… so free. In a way that I haven’t been free in months and months!! I don’t mind the gender segregation in Saudi usually… or the lack of freedom compared to what I’m used to at home. But being here at the Canucks game really highlighted for me how really un-free and restricted I am in Saudi Arabia!! It gives me a much greater appreciation for my freedoms in North America!!!

The icing on the cake: We won. Of course. It was a really great game and I was so excited that the Canucks had a win and that I got to be there to see it!! (Unfortunately my Canucks didn’t do so well in the Stanley Cup playoffs… but at least Vancouverites didn’t riot and burn their city down this year… unlike that one infamous year in 2011 when we lost the Stanley Cup playoffs in game 7, and people went crazy and rioted, smashing windows and burning cars…)

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Leaving Rogers Arena… we walked along the water by Science World… the beautiful ball of light at night. I love Vancouver in the dark. Actually I love it in the day also. It’s such a breathtakingly beautiful city at any time of day… and any time of year. Riyadh is so grey and brown and dusty and dingy during the day… although it is gorgeous at night. But Vancouver is beautiful during the day and night. Shades of bright green and blue during the day… and bright white lights, black, navy blue and dark purple at night… I miss this place!!!!

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And so ends hockey night in Canada.

 

A Perfect Day…

January 22-February 14, 2015

When I originally booked my leave to come back home, I specifically chose dates where I figured the weather would be good at home for… Snowboarding!!! End of January, beginning of February typically tend to be quite cold and there’s plenty of snow and fresh snowfall up on the mountains…

This year was no ordinary year though. When I arrived at the end of January, there was little to no snow on the mountains. Some local ski hills hadn’t even opened for the season. And even big mountains like Whistler-Blackcomb were struggling.

But… February 9 at home in British Columbia is family day… and my dad, little brother and I decided that even though the snow was shit, we all had the day off together… and we might as well go check out the slopes and have some fun anyways… and spent some quality family time together (since we rarely get to do that now that I’m living on the other side of the world!)

So… we headed up to the mountains early in the morning… stopped for a Tim Hortons coffee and breakfast bagels (a tradition anytime we “roadtrip” with dad!!)… and drove up to Manning Park Resort, about a 1 hour drive from our hometown.

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It was cloudy when we arrived. The snow was shit. It was wet, and slushy… and it even rained a little bit in the morning. At least it wasn’t icy!

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But in the afternoon, the sun came out… and the view from the top of the mountain over the surrounding mountains was GORGEOUS!!! Everything is just such a deep blue, and rich green… contrasting with the bright blue sky and fluffy white clouds and snowy mountaintops…

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Honestly, we had so much fun!!!! We all love just zipping down hill… me on my snowboard and Dad and Eric on skis. We’d compete to see who could get to the bottom first. Dad didn’t last on the hills as long as Eric and I did… he headed off for nap time at one point… but Eric and I stayed out til almost the last minute… just getting in one more run… and then maybe one more yet…

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And that feeling of going swish swish swish… back and forth… snow spraying from under my board… the crisp air on my face… the sharp, woody smell of pine trees… the sun soaking through my dark pants and jacket… the gentle swaying of the chairlift… and the quiet. Nothing but an occasional holler from someone having a good time and the sound of skis and snowboarding scraping across the snow… trees rustling a bit in a gentle breeze. It is amazing. I love this feeling!!!

I was sad when the day ended… I wish I could have more days like this! Unfortunately I’ll have to wait until next season to do this again…and next year… I’m going snowboarding for a week!! Maybe somewhere in France? or Switzerland?? Or back home with my family… ideal scenario!

Regardless… I’ll be back in half a year again with my family and we will have many lovely family days then as it will be summer vacation and everyone will be keen to spend days at the lake and hiking and just generally outdoors!!

So… when we got home, we were all exhausted from all the fresh air and activity… but it was such a good tired. The kind of tired that makes you curl up in front of the fire with a good book, a specialty coffee prepared by daddy dear (filled with all sorts of delicious booze to warm your insides), and just thoroughly relax and luxuriate in the warm, homey feeling!!

It really was… a perfect day!

 

 

Just Normal Everyday Life

January 22-Feb 14, 2015

Continuing on with my trip home…

What I loved most about being home: (not necessarily in this order…)

1. Sleeping in. Every day. For a good week. Between the jet lag and the Saudi hangover (Saudi hangover being the accumulated stress from 6 months in a strange country where nothing is every even remotely close to as easy as it would be at home, working more hours, the stress of not speaking the language, etc) I could sleep 12-14 hours every day for that first week!!!

2. Driving. Still own my car but it was going to cost a good chunk of cash to insure it for 3 weeks, so daddy dear kindly donated a business car for me to drive. A freaking Yaris (ick) but at least it was a set of wheels that I could drive on my own… without worrying about being arrested, unless I broke too many speed limits in my eagerness to really experience driving again (not really a possibility in a Yaris with its teeny tiny little engine).

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3. Breakfast conversation with my mom.

4. Walks at the river with my sister and my niece. Just sparkles and sunshine and giggles.

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imageimage image imageimage5. Babysitting my niece.. she is just precious. My hearts melts!!!

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6. Coffee with Grandma. My grandmother is my only living grandparent and she is a wonderful woman. She is warm and friendly, energetic and vivacious, and so caring and compassionate. No verbal filter though. It is hilarious sometimes!!!

7. Visiting work to say hi to all my old colleagues. The familiar nursing environment, filled with colleagues I highly value and respect who raised me from a brand new baby nurse to the nurse I am today…

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8. Sushi & Sake. Movie nights. Lunch dates at the harvest cafe. Catching up with good friends from nursing school! Bowling with friends and their kids… Unfortunately, most dinner/lunch dates I was too busy talking to take pictures so there’s not many pictures from those moments… but I absolutely loved having time to catch up with all of the most important people in my life and those moments don’t need pictures… treasuring them in my heart!!  And anyone I missed… it wasn’t because they were less important… but it’s crazy how fast 3 weeks can fill up and then disappear!!!

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9. Icecream cake. Pretty impossible to pick up an icecream cake in this country as by the time you get it home its definitely melty!!!

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10. Tim Horton’s coffee. The famous Canadian coffee company. There’s actually a couple shops in Riyadh, but they’re difficult to get to. And they’re always out of tins of coffee so you can brew your own “Timmies” at home! And it was even Roll-up-the-Rim-to-win time of year!! (Didn’t win a thing… but I’m home with my family so I feel like a winner anyways!)

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11. River runs!! In the sun (it was gorgeously sunny and dry almost the entire time I was home, unusual for January-February… but very welcome for me… not accustomed to the cold and rain anymore!!).

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12. Getting my hair done by my favorite stylist ever!!!!! She always does a fab job!!! And I never have to worry it will turn out badly… (I’ve heard so many horror stories of Western girls who have gotten their hair done in Saudi and it turned out absolutely atrociously… so I had a nightmare one night that I got my hair done in Riyadh and ended up with cornrows!!! Not sure what that was about but it was terrifying!! lol)imageimage

13. A really really good bottle of wine. Proper red. Not homebrew. Specifically British Columbia wines from my favorite wine store… the Sardis VQA wine store. Bottles and bottles of beautiful reds and blends… For a girl living in Saudi Arabia for the last 6 months and not setting foot in a wine store for as long… having options was a bit mind boggling and challenging! But… I picked up a set that is supposed to be just beautiful… going to save it for some special occasion. Like the next time I come visit.


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14. Walking through the greenhouse. Smelling that earthy smell of soil and growing things. The warmth and humidity. The feel of a childhood spent growing up in and around a greenhouse. The pride of walking through your fathers life work…Bumping into people who’ve known you since you were a child…

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15. Family dinners. Family dinners are by far the best part of the whole trip. Made a warm, homey, love filled pot of Morroccan beef stew for the family…and even my brothers who are hesitant to try anything new… loved it!! And anytime my family gathers around the table, there’s bound to be some debate. Over healthcare. Politics. etc. It is so stimulating and I really miss this about being so far away from them all.

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16. Games and laughs with my siblings. We played Cranium one night and it was a riot! So much fun!! Heartwarming. Belly warming too… hot coffee with Baileys… dad’s specialty coffee…

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17. Silly faces with Eric, my little brother.

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18. Silly Sunday afternoon shenanigans… and just relaxing at home with the family…

imageimageimageimageimage19. SNOWBOARDING!!! I’ve missed this. Unfortunately the snow season was shit at home this year. Too little snow and too much warm and rain… but we still made it out one day. Daddy dear and baby bro and I. The snow wasn’t the best, but it was sunny and clear and the air was fresh and pine scented… And the view from the top of the mountains was unbeatable! (Pictures to come in the next post… )

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20. A pedicure with my mom and sister. So relaxing. Good mother-daughters time. Followed by a homey lunch at the preserved seed cafe. A cafe that reminds me so much of nursing school lunch dates…

imageimageimageimageimageimage21. Canucks games. Watching them on TV. Especially during the Stanley cup playoffs. But also going to games. The freedom to freely mingle among men and women… carrying a beer in hand… surrounded by thousands of people enjoying our national sport… (Pictures to be posted in the next post… )

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22. Sunrises and sunsets and gorgeous mountain views. Probably one of the things I miss the most. The green. The mountains. The brilliant blue sky. No dust storms. No sand everywhere. Vibrant shades of azure, emerald and rich browns. Not the dull grey/brown/yellow I usually see in Saudi unless I’m lucky enough to go outside the city into the desert where the sky is bluer and the dustiness turns to reds and golds and browns…

imageimageOn that beautiful sunset, I’m going to end this post… because it is getting far too long. Next up… just a few of the bigger events of my trip home… Snowboarding, a Canucks game… and my final family dinner…

Thanks for reading… if you ever get the chance… please do come and visit British Columbia… Obviously I’m biased, but Vancouver and the Lower Mainland in general are probably some of the most beautiful places on earth!!!

Ok… I’m out now… xoxo

Happiness is: Going home

January 22-February 14, 2015

Happy. Happy. So happy. I’m finally going home!!! After nearly 6 months in Saudi… 6 months with FaceTime and letters/emails being the only contact I’ve had with my family… 6 months of living in a new country half a world away where the culture is completely and entirely different to the one I’ve known all my life… I get to go back home and hug my family, enjoy family dinners and debates, and be surrounded by all things familiar!

Now, my first 6 months in Saudi Arabia have been absolutely brilliant! I couldn’t have dreamed it would be this good! I thought I’d be severely homesick, but the homesickness really comes in waves and at unexpected times… A song, watching people interact with their family in ways I wish I could with my own, a palliative care patient… The little things… They get me homesick! But usually I stay so busy and there’s always something fun to do or to look forward to… So it keeps the homesickness at bay!

For a good week before leaving Riyadh, I felt so happy. The happiness was constantly spilling over. I couldn’t stop smiling, singing, and just loving life! Driving through Riyadh one evening (clarification: sitting in the backseat of a taxi riding through riyadh) looking out at Kingdom tower high above me and Faisaliyah… This city really feels like home some days and often I really do love it here!!! (Maybe I feel that way just cuz I’m leaving… But still).

So… I packed my bags and one Thursday after work, I headed off to the airport and off to Dubai… for a 9 hour layover before carrying on to Seattle. Below: a few of my favourite things: Starbucks, a suitcase, my passport, and boarding passes to somewhere else in the world… this time somewhere else being home!!

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In Dubai, I’d booked the Dubai International Airport hotel. Brilliant idea. Quite possibly the best one I’ve had in a while. I’d just come off a full week of work… and a 10 hour shift… so I was exhausted and the last thing I wanted to do was sit around the airport for 9 hours listening to boarding announcements, never able to fully relax. This  offered me the opportunity to relax in peace and quiet. Nap. Relax in the massage chair. Hit the gym. Shower and freshen up before flying 14.5hrs in a cramped airplane!!

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I hit the gym first for a good pre-flight workout…

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And when I returned to my hotel room and turned on the TV, I saw the terrible news that King Abdullah , the current King of Saudi Arabia had died. A sad day for Saudi Arabia and for the world in general. I’m sure that there will be many changes happening in the time that I am away from Saudi Arabia… a new king will be appointed, King Salman, and I hope that it will all be for the better of the country!

So. Friday morning, I flew out of Dubai headed towards Seattle… up and away above the city… (can’t wait to come back and actually see more of Dubai than just the bird’s eye view!!)… across sandy desert… the great white North… and over into the Pacific Northwest… landing in Seattle in a bit of fog and cloud and damp cold that feels just like home!!!

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Coming up the escalator to meet my parents, I was faced with a dilemma… who to hug first??!!! Fortunately they made the decision easy… my mom taking a picture of me riding up the escalator to them while my dad stood at the top waiting to give me a hug. There were definitely a few tears shed. Honestly… a good proper hold me tight like you never want to let go hug from each of my parents is possibly the best part of coming home. I have missed proper hugs from people I love!!!!

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Honestly though… I absolutely adore these people I call my parents. I am so blessed to be their eldest daughter… to be a part of their family. They have always been my greatest champions and supporters… they love so unconditionally… even when I make decisions that they struggle to accept and support… like moving halfway around the world away from them to Saudi Arabia. And I love them so much more for loving me and supporting me despite disagreeing with that decision. So blessed. And so grateful to be home with them again. Being apart has really opened my eyes to see how much I really truly do appreciate them and everything they’ve done for me through the years!

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So… We drove home in the rain… through Seattle… and back up across the border into my home and native land… Oh Canada!!!

The whole family was gathered together my first night back… and I cherished every moment of family dinner… games (the farming game… yes we’re a bit redneck)… a good proper whiskey beside a cozy fire… sitting on the couch talking with my mom and showing pictures from the last half a year… debates and great intellectual conversations with my dad and brother… Just all the small little things that make home life wonderful.

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I handed out presents from Saudi… boxes of Saudi dates (actually a gift from a patient to me to give to my family)… my little brother got traditional head gear I had picked up on my trip to Egypt (he loved it and insisted on wearing it the whole night)… An adorable bib for my niece that says “somebody in Saudi Arabia loves me”.

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And the best part… cuddles with my niece… who has turned into a chattery vivacious sparkling little thing!!!! Absolutely adore this child and it makes me sad already to think of having to leave her and the rest of my family again!

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And so… that’s about the end of my first evening at home. I am going to thoroughly enjoy every minute of the rest of my time at home!! Already sad when I think of leaving again!!!

Desert Series: Camping

A year in Saudi Arabia (never mind a year… a visit to Saudi Arabia!) isn’t complete without a desert camping experience!

So far I’ve been quad biking in the Red Sands…

I’ve been on several hash runs…

And now… camping!!!

There are several ways to camp in the desert…

Under the stars at night beside a fire…(sounds dreamy but it gets cold in the desert at night!!!!! Plus it’s sandy. And sand gets EVERYWHERE!)

Or… spending the night in a traditional Bedouin tent… A really legit way to get a true Saudi desert experience!

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Or… I was lucky to combine those 2 methods… plus… sleep in a temperature controlled caravan in a room with a king sized bed and a full bathroom complete with rain shower!!

My first desert camping experience was a very spontaneous trip… that happened to fall on the coldest weekend of the year!!! The temperature hovered right around freezing out in the desert. Between 0-5 degrees… and that desert wind just cuts right through you!!!

And… as the trip was so spontaneous… I didn’t have time to pack much to take along, and also didn’t expect it to be as cold as it was. I spent most of the night bundled up wearing a sweater, leather jacket, covered by a down filled puffy jacket that’s supposed to keep you warm at Mount Everest temperatures… and then even a traditional Saudi fur robe!!imageBut braving the cold was absoutely worth it…  I sat outside underneath a black sky filled with brilliant stars, beside a blissfully warm fire …

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I sipped cool drinks beside a bed of coals seated on rugs in a traditional bedouin tent… listening to a musician play haunting arabic music…

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And eventually I went to sleep, tucked into a cozy king sized bed in a nice warm caravan.

The next morning when I awake, it was still freezing cold. When I thought I’d take a nice hot shower to warm out, I couldn’t get the water to warm up!!! Ao I had to take a tepid at best shower… which only enhanced the cold!!!

But… then I went and lounged back in the tent for a while in front of the fire.. sipped a gorgeous Turkish coffee… filled my belly with a beautiful breakfast… and suddenly I wasn’t so cold anymore!!

And then it was time to play… quad bikes… dune buggies… It’s been at last 5 whole months since I last sat behind the “wheel” of anything… and I LOVE driving … so living in Saudi where I can’t drive has been a challenge for me!! But… Now I’m here… out in the desert… on private property… and I can drive a dune buggy!!  A wonderful powerful machine to tear up the dunes…

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We tore up and down and round in circles in the beautiful red/orange sand dunes…. cruising freely around without a care in the world…

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It was incredible!! And I just can’t get enough of this beautiful desert!! The red sands… sculpted by the winds… ever changing… constantly in motion…  like waves of sand…

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And that was my first desert camping experience. In January. In the cold. A bit windy with a constant haze in the distance from blowing sand… But gorgeous!!!!

The second time I camped out in the desert it was  months later and so much warmer!! It was beautiful…

I met some friends out at the camp and  we ate a delicious dinner  prepared by the camp chefs… and after dinner, went and sat at the edge of the traditional Bedouin tent and watched a movie play on a massive screen blown up a few feet away from the tent…. A private outdoor “cinema”… what is this world I live in?!!

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The next morning we set up a little shooting range and took turns shooting some bottles set up in the dunes… so fun!! My aim is TERRIBLE… but I felt pretty dangerous!! (I probably was actually with my terrible aim :P)

Did a lot of just lounging around and relaxing in the sun… which felt absolutely gorgeous and just baked into your bones… a nice mid 20 degrees day…  Soaked up the sun lounging near the previous nights fire… gazing out at the mystical desert in the distance…

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And… of course… quad bikes, motorbikes, and dune buggies again… zipping around like maniacs…

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We found camels this time!! A few wandering through the dunes and the salty flat areas… looking for bits of vegetation… not much here though!!!

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While we were out on the dune buggies… the sky grew dark… clouds gathered….

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And then… nearly the best part: a surprise rain shower at the end of the day… just a gentle misting of rain… a faint but beautiful rainbow just faintly showing through… just a little reminder… It was amazing.

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(note the “shooting range”… our target practice in the middle of the pic? 😛

So, the was the last time I went camping in the desert… and honestly, just writing about it now makes me want to go back again!! It is so calm and quiet and peaceful out there. The weeks in Saudi are long and busy and so stressful… and the weekends are never long enough, especially when they’re filled with parties and fun and not nearly enough downtime! So being out in the desert forces you to slow down, relax, enjoy the moment and seriously destress!

(Now it’s June as I’m writing this and its a good 40-45 degrees every day… more in the sun… so desert camping is a dim memory and something to look forward to in the relatively distant future!)

Next up… My first trip back home!!!

Once a waterfall…

Once a waterfall… now a gorgeous desert experience…

Another hash run… again out in to the desolate desert outside of Riyadh…

Along the outskirts of Riyadh lies a long escarpment, the Tuwaiq escarpment. We went to a part of this where once a waterfall and river flowed down the escarpment and through the valley below.

Now it is just sharp, jutting rocks and flat, sandy riverbed. But it is absolutely gorgeous!!!

This hike reminds me again how incredibly breathtaking the desert is.

So dry, dusty and desolate. Remote and rugged. But quiet and peaceful. Only the sound of the wind and my footsteps crunching on the sand and gravel. Occasionally chatter and laughter from my fellow harriers. And the air is fresh and only slightly dusty…

The hash started with the typical hash traditions… welcoming new harriers to the group… gunging (aka punishing) the ones who misbehaved on the last hash and didn’t follow the rules… They got drenched with water. (Not such a bad punishment in the hot desert!!)

So we started the hash by walking along a bit of a wadi over towards the hills…

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After crossing the bit of a valley, we entered the climbing phase of the hash… some gentle hills first…

Check out the beautiful striations and markings on the rocks below… incredible!!

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And then some much more intense hill climbing!! We scrambled over rocks and ledges as we made our way up the former waterfall…

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Above… looking down the waterfall from high above…

Trecking past beautiful rock formations…

imageimageimageWe traced our way along a narrow path winding through a small valley between the escarpment and another hill.

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In the distance, just flat, empty desert for miles…

But behind us… steep cliffs and dangerous looking rocks!!

After hiking upwards for some time and maneuvering our way through treacherous looking hills and valleys… we walked back down into the wadi… the valley that once contained a river… and traced our way along the dry riverbed back to the start…

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It was another absolutely remarkable experience.  One of those beautiful days that make this experience of living in Saudi Arabia such a unique and special experience!

This hike was particularly fun as a friend of a friend was visiting Riyadh for the week and we were showing him a bit of Riyadh life… this being a typical Friday afternoon experience. And you can’t really show someone a full Saudi Arabian experience if you don’t get to go out and really see the beauty of the desert! I wish that I could take my family and friends from home through this beautiful desert… the bits n pieces I’ve seen… and show them how stunning it is… Inshallah one day. But for now… here’s just a lot of pictures for you all!

My desert camping experience to come next maybe?! Or soon… anyways!!!

That’s all for now…

xo

Sandstorms… not a fan

I’m not sure exactly when it was that I experienced my first sandstorm… I think it might have been early January. All I know is it feels like the sandstorms have been going on forever now!!

I struggle to recall what a blue sky looks some days. And what is this color green? I vaguely remember it…

Obviously I knew when I moved to Saudi Arabia, that sand would be a very constant and persistant part of life here. And I really don’t mind the heat or the dryness or the sand even… but I really don’t like all the dust and sand in the air!!

The first few sandstorms I experienced weren’t that bad at all… the sky slowly became grey and the air was definitely dusty… you could taste it almost… and after a few days it would clear up and the sky would be a soft blue again.

But one day… the sand came in like a wall into the city from the desert… the wind was so strong…

I was at work when the storm moved in. Suddenly the room grew dim, and the sky outside was so dark. Lights came on even though it was still only mid-afternoon… and all you could really see was a bit of hazy yellowy-orange light. We had to wear masks on our brief walk home even because there was so much dust and sand in the air. It inspired an immediate coughing/sneezing fit if you dared exit a building without a mask on!

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We looked like little bugs with our blue masks and sun glasses to protect our eyes from the biting sand!

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From the rooftop of my apartment building, I could see the buildings in the immediate distance… maybe 500 feet away, but everything after that was gone. Grey. Brown. Nothing on the horizon.

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It’s very erie almost. The sand and dust muffle the sounds of traffic and all sounds of city life so that all you really could hear was the wind blowing, rustling leaves… and sand hitting any objects in its path. Almost like the way a snowstorm sounds… but not as quiet and gentle…

And as night falls… it’s even odder as lights are so dim…

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Needless  to say. Sitting through a sandstorm is an incredible experience. Not one I’d ever dreamed I’d have at a point not so long about. But now I’m here in Saudi and the sand and dust storms have been a very persistant part of life of late.

And now I’m definitely over it. Been there. Seen that. Done that… done that being… run in the dust storms… dance the night away at a pool party even in the sand storm… and wait for the rain to settle the dust after a dust storm…

After almost 10 months in Saudi, my lungs have finally admitted defeat. I thought I just had a bugger of a virus… but after about 3 weeks of coughing and sneezing my life away… I realized the awful truth… I probably have developed a bit of a dust allergy. A Salbutamol puffer is now my constant companion… and Strepsils are probably my best friend also! On the plus side… I have abs again from all the coughing??!

And that’s enough about the sand.

It does end eventually. Like one day after a sandstorm… I woke up to this… With the moon still lingering in the early morning sky…

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And then… I remember… It’s really not a bad life here at all and can be remarkably gorgeous some days!! And when the blue sky is back and the warmth of the sun melts into my bones… I love it here!!