Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Bush Camp, Saudi Arabia to Kuwait City, Kuwait    December 6, 2022

The call to prayer was at 4:57 so that was it for me as far as sleep went.  It was very loud but I was sleeping only a stone’s throw from the mosque.  It is such a mournful song but very nice, except when you’d like a bit more sleep!  We didn’t get any rain but I’d have stayed dry anyway under the roof of the unused service bay-

Most of the group (most had already pulled their tent down by the time I took this) set up outside, side by side along the wall of the service bay I was in.  I never like to set up close to others because there is so much farting, rustling, sometimes talking and snoring going on.  We were safe in that department until Dustin from Ottawa/Florida joined - he’s a train!

Breakfast was the usual- eggs of some sort and cereal.  We never go hungry-

We were on the road by 7:30 without a real plan for getting into Kuwait.  Along the way-

The closer we got to the border, the weirder things got.  How much rain do you need for it to sit in lakes and puddles in sand? It’s called hydrophobic soil and it happens when a waxy residue builds up on the soil/sand particles resulting in it repelling water rather than absorbing it-

The streets were flooded because there is no drainage anywhere so it has no where to go-

Karen seemed pretty sure our Pakistani drivers would not be admitted into Kuwait, therefore no coach and no option as there is neither public transportation nor taxis through the borders and it doesn’t help that Saudi and Kuwait don’t like one another.  We stopped in a town just before the Saudi border looking for rides because weirdly enough, once you cross into Kuwait you are registered with the vehicle you come in with, so you need to be in a vehicle to enter.  Last year the truck broke down just before the Kuwait border and because you can’t walk in, the passengers had to hitchhike!  That would have been a fun adventure! Our first stop was at a brand new, relatively empty shopping mall where they had a coffee shop that we visited while Karen worked out our onward transportation. In the mall I visited with the woman at the information booth who said the mall has been open since 2021 - whooops - bad investment for someone - it’s beautiful but empty.

The coffee shop was by her desk and soon she was handing out free Arabic coffee, cookies and dates-

as well as baklava-

After an hour or so, we left the mall and headed for a rental car place -  again, no luck.  Our last attempt -  Karen found 3 vehicles to take us!  I can’t imagine what it cost.  Once the men prepared the vehicles - arranged the third seat, used pliers to move the seat forward - the SUVs were wrecks, we were on our way-

What a weird crossing! I don’t know how many times our driver presented our passports with the Saudi visa to officials - maybe three? They got tired of looking so just handed them back!  Once we were at the Kuwait border we had to go in and then we had to show our passports again - twice!  Crazy!

It was raining quite heavily at times-

Finally I’ve seen some evidence of oil production-

There are lots of boring apartment blocks driving into Kuwait City-

We found our hotel which is very modern but the rooms are small and the bathroom is inefficient. Obviously a woman did not design it! What’s with these partial glass walls instead of a shower curtain. There is always water on the floor! They may look nice but they’re not very functional!

Cynthia and I went to a nearby mall for supper. It’s very expensive- probably the most expensive place so far.

Tomorrow it’s exploring provided the rain stops!

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