Revisiting a place is a not so welcomed idea when you desperately want to amass travel blog posts. However, going back to Callao Cave in Cagayan to rediscover its charm (“Revisiting the Most Famous Cave in Cagayan Valley On A Whim“) and San Pablo Church in Isabela to uncover its historical significance (“Rediscovering One of the Country’s Historical Treasures“) a couple of years ago changed my perspective. I am now aware that no place is really ever done, and no travel experience is ever entirely complete; there is always something new to forge, meet, or see.
This featured place forged a peculiar memory I had shared with four of my closest friends—one that was flourished by energetic laughters and adventures in the desert and escarpments.
The first tourist attraction I set foot on in Saudi Arabia is the Ad-Dhana Desert, more popularly known as Red Sand, in Dirab. Making a trip down memory lane I see beautiful sights. Sands in red-orange snake everywhere; bright, perspicuous, and pulchritudinous. Tweiqs provide an imposing appeal to break the monotony of the place. Hawks swoop around to provide an aerial spectacle. Tourists on quad bikes circle the area to proffer that needed zing to go on a race.
Then the time machine schlepped my feet to my second visit several months ago at the desert. The weather was perfect and the sky was as clear as blue. The plateaus and tall cliffs took the place of skyscrapers in the city. I saw five people busy talking and moving around the place on foot, pausing at times to share stories and stuff they were able to frame by their respective cameras. They rolled in the aisles atop the well-packed dunes like there is no tomorrow.
At the farther side of the desert was me standing on one corner not for punishment but for that visceral feeling. I was blown away by how the pendulum swings slowly this time around. The fusillade of new impressions did not come like lightning in the rain.
Slowly, things got through my head at that vantage. I was able to recognize more sights while walking around even until I was resting from working my ass off to get to that point. Hiking the hilltop was more propitious; physically boosting than being assisted by a quad bike. It was after all not that hard as I thought. Doing that made the whole experience tastes more saccharine.
And the scene that was undoubtedly etched in my memory is that merriful encounter with the camels. We literally bonded with these dromedaries who were really, really sweet and gentle. We were dumbstruck at how docile they are.
I actually dreamt of watching a graceful caravan of camels passing by, but who cares now? The echt hilarity the five of us shared in the corral is more than enough. Since then, remembering this place conciliates everything in times where the inevitable misunderstanding occurs among us.
Riyadh Red Sands (undertheabaya.wordpress.com)