Where the Tarmac Ends...
Trip Start May 22, 2009
197Trip End Feb 16, 2010
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The desert made famous by the stories of Lawrence of Arabia, is an awesome and ever-changing landscape. Red and white sands mixing together with imposing rocks growing straight out of the sandy desert sea. A place where the elements are harsh, the stars shine bright, and there are no roads.
Started out from the little town on Rum with 9 of us piled into the back of an ancient Toyota Land Cruiser. Hitting the sand, we were shaking and rattling around to the various special places of interest in the desert. Tire tracks in the sand were he ‘roads’ we too over hills and around mountains. It seems amazing to me how someone can know where they are going. To my eyes, the landscape is ever-changing, yet always the same. For once I’m glad that we’re not doing this on our own!
Off we all clambered in fear that the tire would come off completely and the truck fall, there seemed nothing to do. Brian and a fellow Canadian traveler had a poke or two and wondered why the driver didn’t get out an do something. While we were waiting, I admired the various other unique elements of our ‘desert camel’: rag stuffed into the gas tank, smashed rear view mirrors, cup welded to the undercarriage to catch various leaking liquids, canopy with welds broken…Luckily, there was lots of entertainment while we waited for another truck to come. A few girls took great pleasure in taking one another’s photos, and I took pleasure in taking theirs!
Continuing in our new luxury vehicle (gas cap AND one rear view mirror) wasn’t quite as
But that just added to the fun of driving in the desert. Perhaps the camel is the most reliable vehicle to use. But we’ll try that another day and see…
We re-affirmed our status as ‘Rain Gods’ today as well. In a country that only sees an average of 1 day/month of rain in the winter months - maybe only 4 times a year…guess what it did today?
As the sun goes down, the sky begins to clear. But in the meantime, I’ll relax on the floor carpets of a goat-hair tent while sipping sweet sage and cardamom tea while dinner cooks in a sandy pit.