Desert Camping in the Dunes
My friend Andy Mayer, Director of NobleBirth, went adventure camping in the sand dunes recently and was eager to tell us all about her amazing experience:
On the weekend of 29th October a convoy comprising 5 carloads of expatriate residents from 5 different nations took off on an adventure camping in the sand dunes. The destination was about 3 hours North of Jeddah past Masturah.
As a member of the camping trip I was so excited to in the company of people who knew the desert well. We were all equipped with the necessary tools to keep us all safe driving in big dunes far from town.
We packed up plenty of water and food, tents, swags ( Australian camp beds) camp chairs and torches and took off to explore a part of Saudi Arabia we had been wanting to see for 6 months.
I can say the desert did not disappoint. It was spectacular. We arrived late in the afternoon leaving enough time to set up camp and get a fire going. The temperature was balmy and there was a lovely breeze. It gave us plenty of time to watch the sun set. It was so beautiful and we could see all the way to the ocean from our camp site. There were a number of children in the group and they all found plenty of things to amuse themselves with for hours. They built a fire, chopped wood, rolled down sand dunes getting sand in every conceivable orifice, had a hit of cricket and helped set up camp chairs. Somehow they even managed to find a bumper bar in the sand.
In the far off high dunes 4WD drove fast up the hill, spinning tyres in the sand and spraying the air. It was great to watch.
It got dark very quickly and as the stars rose in the night sky we were invited over the back of a large dune to star gaze with a well studied astronomer from the UK. He pointed out many constellations, stars, the Milky Way and patterns of stars rising. That night Taurus was rising low in the sky while we watched.
A big feast was cooked up by the non-star gazers. We ate ourselves into a lovely sleepy state and everyone crawled off into their tents for the night after a few stories, poems and songs.
My husband and I slept out under the stars in our swag while our young boys slept snugly in their 2 man tent!
We woke early as the sun rose and the temperature was perfect. All around the campsite were tracks of various creatures. I couldn’t believe they were lurking around us all the time! Was I a little bit scared? Yep!! But I was tired and slept soundly. We saw beetle, snake, scorpion, cat, goat and lizard tracks a plenty. Never do we actually see an animal. OH! except the camels further down the dunes.
We all had a huge breakfast of scrambled eggs cooked in one huge pan, tidied up the campsite, removed all our rubbish, lowered our tyre pressure, and drove further into the desert for some 4WD fun. What a hoot. We got bogged. We didn’t make it up some dunes. We flew across some sand dunes, we laughed, we drifted and absolutely had a ball. The children did cartwheels down the dunes and some amazing photographs were taken of the colours of the desert.
By mid morning it was hot and time to inflate the tyres and get back to Jeddah. We had big smiles on our faces and left behind only footprints!