The Edge of the World

5 Nov

A few weeks ago we headed out into the desert for a spot of camping. The weather has cooled significantly and it is really pleasant to be outdoors again. Despite the sparseness of the sandy, rocky desert and the obvious lack of lush greenery it does one’s soul good to get out of the house and spend some time outdoors. There were just 2 families on this trip, ourselves and our friends, the Burgers. As The Edge of the World is not very far out of Riyadh (just a few hours) and is a relatively easy drive we travelled on our own. Usually it is wise to travel with at least 4 cars when heading into the desert, for safety reasons, but we headed out on our own this time round. This was the mandatory, work-crisis-that-needs-to-be-sorted-out-over-the-weekend stop en route. Luckily, all mobile phone contact was lost fairly soon after getting off-road much to our friend Bennie’s delight.

We spotted a couple of these guys along the way. One passes by a few bedouin camps on most desert trips although we stay quite far away as we girls have all de-abaya’d by this stage.

I love the modern shepherd who herds his camels from the comfort of his Toyota pick-up. It makes sense and I would do the same if I was permitted to drive. and was a shepherd. and was born in Saudi Arabia. and lived in the desert. and had to wear an abaya all day. (so grateful for the life I have)

We arrived just as the sun was beginning to set. Good thing that it was no later as they are a little short of street lights in the middle of the desert!

I wish I had some photographic skills as the view from the aptly named Edge of the World is amazing and I do it no justice at all. The sheer scale of the drop to the bottom is amazing and pretty scary but my photos make it look like you could take a leisurely stroll down the side of the mountain to get below.

We set up camp near the edge and got to enjoy time around the fire, under the stars in the middle of nowhere. Despite being a little dusty it is awesome to fall asleep watching the stars. In the morning, it’s coffee and rusks, pack up and head back home for a much-needed warm shower and afternoon nap with that satisfying happy camper feeling.


10 Responses to “The Edge of the World”

  1. Wrens Senses November 5, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I feel in a sense that I came along for a few minutes. It was enjoyable to be able to travel through your words to the edge of the world. You write beautifully. ~Wren

    • dustbusting November 8, 2010 at 7:41 am #

      Well thank you Wren, very kind words indeed. I’m pleased that you felt that you had journey’d with us. It is difficult to accurately portray the beauty of the desert through my words and photos.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Gayle November 5, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

    Those photo’s were amazing what a lovely outing so different from what one is used to. The vastness and rather desolatee terrain is magnificent! thanks for all the interesting information on your blog.

    • dustbusting November 8, 2010 at 7:44 am #

      Thanks Mom. We really enjoy getting out there and would love to go out more often but there always seems to be lots of stuff on over weekends to keep us in the city.

      Glad you liked my photos.

  3. Fay November 5, 2010 at 9:01 pm #

    Hai land of the sand guys! Still reading ALL your stories Philippa but not always able to write you back on your blog! As always it is so nice to hear from you guys and that you are all doing still great. By the way a very happy belated B-day for Luca. Say hi to Olaf and the Burger family too 😉
    We arrived in Salta/ Northern Argentinia and love the place…tomorrow we are heading for the “tren de las nubas” – train in the clouds. It’s a railroad on 4600 mtr high……
    Take care you all and keep on writing!

    Jan & Fayxx

    • dustbusting November 8, 2010 at 7:51 am #

      Hello travellers

      How lovely to hear from you. Thanks so much for keeping tabs on us all, it’s great to know that you are still part of Arabian Homes even though you are so far away.

      I also keep up with your blog, even though it takes me days to read the Dutch. Thanks for keeping us posted, we love all your photos

      I believe you celebrated a very festive new year at the edge of the world with fireworks and all. We heard all about it.

      Hope your train trip was as amazing as it sounds up in the clouds. Look forward to reading about it soon.

      The Brinkmanns and The Burgers

  4. jana November 7, 2010 at 4:33 pm #


    [am speechless]

    And in case you were wondering, you do have some serious photographic skills. The one entitled “Arriving” could be on the cover of an outdoor living magazine just as well as used in a car advertisement. The Saudi government could totally use it in their travel and tourism brochure. I’m not kidding! And the one called “The Edge”? I totally want it as my desktop picture!

    [And by the way: I totally love the word de-abaya’d. It’s linguistically phenomenal.]

    • jana November 7, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

      I totally used the adverb totally like, three times in total. I am totally embarrassed.

      • dustbusting November 8, 2010 at 6:21 am #

        It’s so totally cool with me. I would not have even noticed it if you had not highlighted it.
        I’m like totally not that observant with a writhing toddler on my lap.

    • dustbusting November 8, 2010 at 7:57 am #

      Thanks Jana.

      You are far too kind. Glad YOU like my photos. I just never seem to capture an image in the way I would like to especially in the desert where there is not much contrast in colour. Need to go on a photography course for dummies, in fact, going to put it on my bucket list today.

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