06 June 2018

Last Trip to the Escarpment

From the very first time I rode down the Jabal Tuwaiq in September of 2016 until now, this is my favorite place to be in all of Saudi Arabia.  This isn't our usual spot since the road is blocked off right now, and it was much too hot on Saturday to be out, but I needed to go once more before we leave.  I never felt like we got a really good photo anywhere along the escarpment, but I hope some of them will be enough to remind me.  

You get here by driving through Amaaria and then continuing on the road you can see on Google maps or Google earth that goes almost out to the edge.  The last bit is dirt roads.

Most people go to the top of Camel Trail 1 or to the Edge of the World, both of which are good spots to go.  But what I really loved was exploring anywhere we could that people didn't go

The first time we went to the top of the escarpment rather than driving down the Mecca road, I was trying to get us to Camel Trail 2.  It seemed like a doable thing and we found a road that seemed to work.  We didn't actually find the trail, but we both knew there was a lot more to see there.  We got a fire pit and telescope for Christmas and started to go out whenever we could when it was cool.  I think those are the favorite memories of Saudi Arabia for the entire family.  We'd pick different outcroppings to roast hot dogs on, sling stones off the edge, and once we took a pack of teenage boys who launched flaming balls over the side.  We looked at the stars and ate s'mores and kebabs and sometimes convinced friends to drive their cars out there with us.  

One day we drove to the escarpment down a long wadi I found on Google maps. I had no idea if that wadi would actually get us all the way there and it certainly wasn't a road, but we made it.  We ended up a little north of where the power lines go down.

Another day we started at the bottom of the escarpment and drove up an interesting looking road I'd found on Google maps.  It went up right up the escarpment and  looked like it was graded which is a major improvement over driving down a wadi.  You obviously can't drive up the escarpment in most places because it's a cliff, but this was a lovely and interesting drive.  After getting closer to Riyadh and seeing more signs, we realized it was the Aramco natural gas pipeline road.

After the road we had been using to get to our close spot was closed, we tried a couple of different options.  This road went down Wadi Laban and took a long time to get there, but we loved the sunset over the wadi.  This is the quickest way to our usual spots, but it takes over an hour to get there and the road isn't as good as the paved road further north.  It's probably better not to do this one in the dark.

We did end up finding a different way into our spot that worked for a few months, but that's closed now too. 

Goodbye, Jabal Tuwaiq.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful words and photos. Very evocative. Brings back happy memories. I especially like the last one of you enjoying that beautiful, barren place. And the ones with the sun, of course.