Trip No: 4
Total Trip Time:
After a few days of browsing over the net for interesting places in Riyadh, our next target is Graffiti rock as the distance not that far from home and we got the GPS coordinate though not sure whether it is the exact location.
The journey should take us around 1 hr 45 mins which is around 110 km from Riyadh. Packing some food, tea, snack for breakfast, we move at around 7:45 am. The road is quite easy. From Mecca Highway, follow the road to Diplomatic Compound, drive straight until you see exit to Musayqirah. Take the exit. From the exit to the graffiti is quiet tricky as we’ll be on off-road. The coordinate that we get from the net is only until the road site. So...we decided to gamble in finding the rocks based on the description that we get from few websites. It should be 4 km to reach the graffiti. When we were halfway and scared that we might get lost trying to find the road, we save the first stop point coordinate to ensure we can get out of the desert because once you're in the middle of the desert, everything looks the same.
Driving forward, following tracks of other cars that we assume going to the place we target, we move on. At the end we found rocks that looks like the picture we saw on the net but still not sure of it. Driving our attention, we saw some kind of animal which runs so fast climbing up the rocky hills. We guess it might be a roadrunner. It was reallyyyy fast. My husband guess was an Ostrich but with smaller size. In just a few seconds the animal was gone between the big rocks, wondering what kind of food they can get in a very deserted place like this.
We parked our car near some big rocks while my husband walked to the rock to ensure that it is the right one. On the sands we saw trailing on animals going to the place where we head to. There were to kind on animal trace..one is as big as my 3 yr old son and the other trail is like gliding..but not a snake cause got dot2 on it. We’re not sure whether we want to bump into any of these animals caused we do not know what to expect. At around 5-10 mins, my husband came back and he told us that we are at the right place. Alhamdulillah. We decided to have our breakfast first before exploring the place. As there are no trees around, we open the bonnet of our 4x4 car, push the seats down and ate inside.
It was 9.45 am already.
The exploration began. It was great to see many types of drawing. I told my kids that graffiti means a drawing or scribbling on a flat surface. It is originally referred to those drawing in Roman architecture. These petroglyphs over here are said to be after 3000 BC! True or not..I'm not sure myself . I just remind my kids not to do graffiti on our house wall ;-).
We climb on the rocks to get better pictures. Satisfied with what we want, we decide to head back home and now is 11.55 already.
This is just one part of the great graffiti. Now come to another part of the story.....
WE ARE STUCK!
As we headed back, we can see a road from where we park seems not that far. So..we decided, why not try taking a shortcut instead of following back the same trail. We move about 15 minutes. The sand here is very soft like those at red sand dunes. Surrounding us is like a small dump of sands that we need to go over to get near the road. With half confidence, we drove fast to drive over to small sand hill. Halfway, my husband breaks as he lost confidence we able to make it over the small sand dump. Pressing the gas paddle but not moving...now we knew that we are in trouble! The kids were shock asking "Are we trap? are we trap?".."Kita tak bole balik! (cannot go home)!.
First attempt of ‘coming to the rescue’
Building up the muscle from lottsss of digging
Both me and hubby went out to see the damage. The front tyre was quite deep in the sand. Okay, now we are really stuck with no gears to start digging or lifting the car. Using both our ‘strong’ hands we start dingging out the sands out from the tyre. Wow, now we knew how unfit we are. So many times short of breath. We need to get something better as it starts to get windy. We decided using the tupperware we store our meehoon earlier on for digging. Wow..there goes my beloved tupperware! Continue digging, trying to move for about two hour..still fails. Now..we knew that we need to call for help.
At around 3 pm, Raznan arrived with Arief. Yeah…our hero came for the rescue. Hubby and rescuer continue doing the digging with the newly scope Raznan brought with him. We then tied his car to our car . With eagerness and anxiousness, we watch with hope. Sadly to say, it turns out to be RESCUE THE RESCUER! Haha.. I guess now our simple trip has became more interesting. The attempt even caused Raznan’s car front bumper halfly fell apart. We felt even more guilty as both Raznan and Arif was fasting today and it’s their last day of 6 days Fasting of Shawal.
Again doing more digging of Raznan’s car, doing a reverse, we able to save the rescuer car. Not to give up, we tied up again our car with Raznan’s with his car at a different position. Again, with anxiousness we pray for success of our second attempt. Alhamdulillah, seeing the car move makes us smile to our ears!
Enjoying the time. No pressure for the kids, no headache to mom.
The kids had no complaint though they’re stuck in the desert.
The kids shout with excitement. Yeah…now we can go home as we knew it will be dark soon and we are sooo tired. Ok…that’s not the end of the story yet. As we move on we need to go through another sand hill. It felt like our heartbeat stop. Again, we are STUCK and we are only about 1 km from the main road! That was a bigger frustration as you can see the road ahead.
We had to stop for prayer. Hopefully, we’ll succeed after our prayer. Alhamdulillah, the kids doesn’t complaint at all. THey even enjoying themselve as if they’re playing sands by the beach. At least one potential problem is solved.
So we continue shovel and trying moving but with no luck. Then, came 3 kids driving not far from us, playing around i guess. They came near us and offer their help. The eldest who did the talking i guess maybe at the age of 15. Good thing we have Arif, Arabic literate who able to communicate with the kids else it will be chicken and ducks. Before that, very fast and with confidence, he took out the air from tyre….a LOT! As we not used to it and our first experience of stuck in the sand, we got panic. As the boy try to drive out our car, well…sad news, still fail. He told us he’ll go back and try to get help.
It’s getting dark and our troat gets dried up as well. We are out of water to drink. The wind also starts to blow harder getting in our eyes. We can felt the sand sticking to your skin specially your face. Your lips also gets very dry, outer lips felt like as if you’re just ate chilly. As it was Maghrib already, Raznan went to buy some drinks as both him and Arif need to break their fast. So..it was a special fast breaking for them! May Allah bless them with sincere and sacrifice in helping us.
At the end we decided to head back home with Raznan’s car and leave our beloved car back in the desert. With sad feeling, we watch our car left behind. On the way back to our house, we bought Pizza and 1951 sausage to feast our hunger specially to the hardworking men. As to rescue our car, we decide to get help from Indonesian friend of hubby and Raznan. So…it will be 2nd rescue attempt. At around 10.30, hubby went to meet his friend with Raznan at Takasushi street. So part of the family are home already to take some rest.
Problem should be solved this time as we knew hubby’s friend car is equipped for rescuing stuck cars. As they reach there around 12, it took only few minutes to pull out the car. A little digging at the front to hang the puller and as easy as ABC..there you go! A big applause to Pak Zafar, PAk Budi and Pak Joko. May Allah bless their kindness. To celebrate the success and the beautiful nature, they had kapsa to enjoy. Chit chatting under the light of the stars and the moon. Hubby reach home at around 4 am that day.
Enjoying kapsa after the ‘hard’ work :-). Thanks Pak Zafar, Pak Budi and Pak Joko
Masyaallah…how beauty is Allah’s creation.
A great experience as hubby said. One of the wonderful stories of our life in Saudi that will always stays in our memories. Getting to know the nature and having great friends at good times and bad times.
Lesson learn :
1. If you plan on offroad to desert, better to have at least one more car with you in case any problem occur.
2. Do equip yourself with gears in case your car got stuck.
3. Make sure you know your way in the desert. Save coordinates at a few check checkpoints.
4. Have extra food/drinks to bring along the way especially when you have kids with you.
I guess that is all i can think of now. One great memory to be kept in the heart -:- tw