Jizan to Noisy Beach Camp, Saudi Arabia, December 20, 2022
We had a leisurely start with breakfast delivered to our rooms. It is what I’ve been eating at the buffets so I was pleased: fool which is a lentil mixture, cucumbers and olives, halva, labneh which is strained Greek yogurt and garlic, feta, Arabic = chipatti = na’an bread and a boiled egg-
Cynthia from Australia, Graham and Christine from Tasmania and I shared an apartment-
It was a long boring drive day: 545 km from Jizan to a bush camp-
My new descriptive name for Saudi is random: Random roundabout monuments-
Every town has their name in huge letters-
We have seen a lot of men wandering by the side of the roads supposedly picking garbage. Parts of the country are just a mess with trash-
Mecca is close to Jeddah but only Muslims can go-
We met a few half tons loaded too high with hay and this is where they were coming from. There must have been 50+ semis selling it. Men at a camel market said the hay comes from Sudan and Saudi. I can’t imagine where in Saudi because all we have seen is sand, sand and more sand-
This guy was having big trouble-
One of the few refineries I’ve seen-
There are a lot of street lights along the highways and they are all different. There are miles and miles of them near the refinery and each with its own solar panel--
You can pass whenever you like when the centre lines are painted like this-
I sat at the front most of the day and when I went back to my seat I fell asleep. It was a boring day except for the verbal altercation after lunch. Dustin, who just joined us 11 days ago, had his underwear hanging on the back of the seat in front of him so they could dry. Terry, a 71 year old American, asked hIm to take them down; it’s actually not allowed, I mean who wants to see someone’s underwear? but Dustin is a bit, quite a bit of a loose cannon and he came unglued and told Terry to go fuck himself so Terry lost it and ripped his gauch off the seat and threw them out the door. The yelling and swearing went on for awhile, with Dustin accusing Terry of being violent, then it calmed down until it didn’t and Mark got involved and Dustin lost it again, telling both men he doesn’t want them to talk to him for the rest of the trip. I was sitting across from all of this and quite enjoying it!
We are camped on the beach so after my tent was set up I walked along the Corniche and met a Grandma, her 3 daughters and 2 small grandsons. One daughter could speak English well so we had a visit. They were sitting on a carpet on the sand with no food or drink. They took all kinds of video and pictures of me. I was quite a novelty. I don’t know how long they’d been there but they left well after dark. They had their masks off while they were just a group of women.
Tomorrow we should get to Jeddah before noon and we have 3 wonderful nights in a hotel! There’s lots to see in the “Dubai” of Saudi but it’s very spread out with a weak bus system so I’ll see how I go. Looking forward to it!
Andi wants a talking unicorn for Christmas-