Monday, March 09, 2009

Camel Market

Trip No: 2
When:  6h March 2009
Where:  About 20km from Riyadh 
GPS Coordinate:
Kambing Rating: 6/10
Total Trip Time: 2.5 hours 

It’s will never be complete if you’re in Saudi, but never be up, close and personal with the animal that symbolize the desert which forming 85% of the country size, the camels.

Last weekend, Mar 6 2009 we decided to pay a visit to the camel market located about 20km from Riyadh on the road heading to Dammam. Our kids are very excited, no less for their mother as this is the 1st time for them to get closer to the animal. Before this they just have a chance to see it from far, the closest was on our way to ‘Diamond Hunting’ trip last week.

According to my Saudi friends,  the camels price could be from a few thousand SAR to as high as a few millions SAR. Imagine… you’re chewing 1 million SAR camel meat.. but no, that kind of camel of course not for eating. Its for ‘modeling’ and ‘humping’!!

The camel in Saudi is of dromedary type, or also known as Arabian camel, which has one hump. The one hump camels could weigh up to 650kg. The average life expectancy of a camel is 40 to 50 years. Camels can run at up to 65 km/h (40 mph) in short bursts and sustain speeds of up to 40 km/h (25 mph), wauu…

IMG_1227 Piles of dried grass, the main food source for the camels here.

IMG_1228 Proud faces, 1st time taking picture with camels ;-), now can show off to uncles, aunties, grandpa, grandma, villagers, cows, goats and chickens in Malaysia.

IMG_1230 Very friendly animals… peramah?

IMG_1231 Another proud face.. (just now he need to take our picture).

IMG_1232 Hmm.. welcoming position??


Having a good time..

IMG_1237 ‘This is dromedary camel, camel that have one hump. Long time ago camel are coming from North America, during the Palaeogene period, before its spreading to most parts of Asia. Bla.. blaa. blaa..’


One of the biggest camel we saw that afternoon (well, it doesn’t look big in the picture, but it is. Usually the owner will separated the prize camel from the other camels.


IMG_1253 They also have small size camels..;-P

IMG_1257 The champion, may be could fetch SAR 1 million? The tallest and most ‘handsome’.

Camels are very vengeful animals. One friend told me a story about the camel. There is one guy got in accident with a camel with his car. The camel is dying, but the man is lucky, not having any major injury. So he went down to see the camel’s fate. As he get nearer, the dying camel bite his neck… and he died because of that. In the end, both were dead. What a tragic accident. So, beware of camels my friend.

We went back that afternoon with pictures to show to cows and chickens in Malaysia as the testimonial that we already passed our camel get together sessions… may be they will get jealous…

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Diamond Hunting

Trip No: 1
When:  27th Feb 2009
Where:  About 130km from Riyadh 
GPS Coordinate:
Kambing Rating:
Total Trip Time: 6 hours 

I can say this is the first trip we went a bit further than around Riyadh city to get our groceries and finding things to furnish our house. At a very last minutes, my husband and I decided maybe we should go. Or else when?

We have to gather in early morning at 6:30 am. We followed group of Malaysians, 14 cars in total moving from Sri Wangi (we have Apartment Sri Wangi here in Riyadh :-)...good community). We start moving at around 7 am. On the way, the view is the normal view of brown color of the desert. Further down, when we past by a camel market, my kids start to jump excited. It was like a 2 km by your left and right side roads, you can see lorries with drums of grass' for the camel food. Then you can see groups of camel. I think maybe different groups belong to different owner. As our journey is to find ‘diamonds’ not camel..we'll go on. We make a promise to our kids that we'll go there when we have time so that can see the camel up close and personal.

Moving on, the view are not only open desert but with small hills of rock desert i can say. Well, no greens now but brown in color. Finally, we reached the spot. A very open space of desert. I'm wondering how to get the diamonds. We parked the car, then one of our colleague with excitement, telling she got a diamond. There it goes, the first diamond by the team :-). We'll be rich..haha.

My husband and I look into each others eye and smile. I think we came up to think of the same. Is it really diamond here? We don't know. Maybe it is diamond but not the grade that people are hunting for but it has it's own beauty. Even beauty is may be beauty to my eyes but not to others. Those who love this diamond beauty will surely come again.

We'll...the trip is not for hunting diamond only but it was a great picnic. Chit chatting, getting to know was fun. We even had 5 types of meehoon cooked by 5 different people! Isn't it wonderful when having picnic like this. We also had barbeque even though it was overcooked :-). Need to give a clap also to the ‘fathers club’ whom trying their best to 'cook'.

My kids whom is as always having problem getting around with new friends stick together among themselves. Azim try to create his own fun by making a 'kite' out of his own jacket. As for Afiq and Kakak...they were racing to see who's faster. Aiman...most of the time likes observing. He's still not satisfied not getting much 'diamond'.

As the wind gets stronger, I can say it is a sandstorm already. Even the food and drinks covered and taste sand as well. That's when we decided it is time to go back. I even lost one of my contact lens due to the sand gets in my eyes and I rub it as it was hurting. Next time, I need to remember wearing sunglasses. Before going back, we make a few rounds to see the desert beauty. Thanks to everyone for the warm friendship. Now we need to rush back for Friday prayer.

As for my diamond, m precious diamond is always in my heart. ..close to me always and never fade.

Meet again on our next trip, insyaAllah. Ma’assalamah.