The Edge of the World

March 2016

Back in Riyadh again…

The Edge of the World… one of the major “tourist”attractions near Riyadh… a must see for any expat in Saudi Arabia. Check out Blue Abaya’s Guide to the Edge of the World as well… http://www.blueabaya.com/2012/08/guide-to-edge-of-world.html

Not too far outside Riyadh, the Tuwaiq escarpment drops away to nothing but hazy desert for miles and miles as far as one can see. The cliffs are magnificent and terrifying… but so breathtakingly beautiful.

We rode out across the desert in strong, sturdy 4×4 vehicles… across soft sand and rocky desert… through a small flat plain with scrabbly bushes and many camels…

…Up steep hills to the top of the escarpment.

The world just seemed to drop away. It did really seem like the “Edge of the World!”

In the bright sunlight, (thank goodness for the cool breeze!),  we climbed up loose rock covered hills, and down another steep rocky hill and over to a narrow point, protruding far above the desert floor below…

Heart pounding I stepped out onto the mandatory precipice for a quick photo… hoping the unruly wind wouldn’t suddenly push against me, as I felt quite feeble and insignificant so high up there on that rocky ledge…

A friend climbed up to a small cave at the top of an even higher rock formation… and dropped his sunglasses. We watched them free fall for what seemed like hours until they disappeared from view and smashed at the bottom of the cliff…

Ummm yeah… now I’ll definitely be even more cautious around that edge!!! :/

It was absolutely worth the bit of anxiety climbing over the rocks and standing on those rock Ledges… the view was just so stunning…

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So, If you’re not living in Saudi Arabia or have never had the chance to live in Saudi Arabia… I hope you do get the chance to go and visit this beautiful country  and experience its culture and unique natural beauty for yourself someday!

Sandy Shenanigans

November 9, 2014

Bored out of my tree this morning… and feeling a little sick (bad cold) and sorry for myself… weekends are the one time I’d really love to call home and get in touch with everyone… but during the day while I’m wide awake… they’re all sound asleep! Ugh… that time difference.

Anyways… somehow one of my friends must have known I needed a little pick me up and called unexpectedly to see if I wanted to go quadbiking out in the Red Sands. I was thrilled! Haven’t been out to the sandy desert yet!! So she picked me up along with a friend and we headed out to the Red Sand dunes! It was a beautifully sunny day… A relatively “cool” 30 degrees… perfect weather to be out in the sunshine…

It was about a 40minute drive out the city… out of the smog and into the beautiful fresh air!

We hired a couple quads to go zipping around in the dunes…

The sand dunes are absolutely gorgeous! The beautiful, rich red color… the blue skies… the vast sweeping desert… so wild and desolate and dry… but so gorgeous!!
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Driving the quad bikes was absolutely amazing! I havent driven anything in 3 months, so it was fun to finally be behind the “wheel” and tearing up and down the dunes in any direction I wanted to go. Maybe odd…. but the movement of going up and down the dunes and the feel of the sand beneath me reminded me a lot of the mountains and snowboarding or snowmobiling… the way you climb a hill sideways and crest it at an angle rather than going straight up and over as you don’t know what is on the other side… my dad taught me that about sledding and snowboarding… Those lessons served me well while quad biking in Saudi 🙂

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Even did a small bit of hiking and climbed to the top of a dune… got hips of fine little red granules in my shoes… but mafi mushkela… it was worth it…

imageIt was just absolutely beyond gorgeous out in the desert and I was so happy to be out and free… and driving… and just enjoying the warmth of the sunshine (in a non-scorching sort of way) and the fresh air… all the negativity of my earlier experience rapidly faded into the background as I revelled in the joy of zipping around on my quad bike through the dunes!!

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To be honest… it really was a wonderful experience all around… i’ll quickly forget about the negative experience at the beginning… especially since it was followed up by this…

And… to top it all off… I got to see camels for the first time… just roaming around along the side of the road as we drove away from the sand dunes…

I even got a car selfie with “Alice the camel… who only had one hump”

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And so ends my first desert experience… heaps of fun!! Definitely can’t wait to get out in the desert again!!!

much love from the sandpit… more sandy shenanigans coming your way…

xo

Annemarie