The Hiker’s Maxim: “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time (J.K.).
Several months ago, I was invited by one of my colleagues to go simmer down with his friends in this place famous for the name Kamsa Kamsa Park. An opportunity like this comes only once in a lifetime so the thought of hesitating is totally irrelevant for my wandering feet. In Saudi Arabia, there is an arbitrary restriction on freedom to maunder around just like that, especially without a car. All I had to worry about were waking up early in the morning and packing victuals for the trip.
Kamsa Kamsa Park is a nature park located in Hair, a mintaqah of Riyadh.
Usually, I prowl the internet to see what a particular tourist spot has to offer as far as activities or things to see are concerned. On the contrary, I did not do it that time as the invitation came in on such short notice. It does not matter. This is what heightens the excitement and thrill as they say.
A thirty-minute drive in an arid morning of 28 September 2013 from our place brought us to the park wearing big smiles on our faces. Anybody who sees a boscage of viriscent trees and a sward coupled with respiring a breath of fresh air away from the city will smile.
The first thing I noticed though were green trees majestically standing at the entrance. What can be flashed onto the eyes next are sturdy branches of palms quietly enveloping the driveway all the way to the parking lot like a caring canopy in a forest.
Apart from the natural inland scenery the place offers, it also has cottages, karaoke booths, and poolhalls for rent. Add to that an eatery that caters to authentic Filipino food (e.g., pansit bihon) because majority of its visitors are Filipinos.
A portion of the place showcases historical ruins of old Saudi houses made of mud like Ushaigher Village in Dirab (“The Doors and Mud-Built Houses of Ushaiger Heritage Village“).
There is a also rock valley near the area that reminds me of our famous Chocolate Hills (in Bohol, Philippines).
Upon debarking from the van, I was taken aback by the sight of women who seem to have availed of the temporary license for tearing abayas. They instantly caught my attention. It has been a while since…It was only at that moment where I got to digest why a lot of Filipinos and other nationalities here regard the park as a haven for freedom. “Thou shall not dig the details.”
Anyway, the objective for my every travel is intact: to discover, learn, or see something new. I then worked my way to find that new thing. I stopped at almost every point to gorge come-at-able sights. I saw possible choices but they are not enough to make my pants ripped off of me yet.
I imperturbably traipsed from one site to another until I got to this coulee on the far side teeming with grass and huskier date palms. The latter have something exquisitely noticeable so I must say I got what I needed at last.
I had already seen a date palm on the median barriers of the kingdom’s national road; however, it is not as attractive as it is in the wilderness. In other words, it captivated my optical organs. I became powerless to take them back so I just succumbed and tasted every piece of it. That is, by revealing the wonders of its fruit called dates in different colors and forms. All of which were taken on the same day.
A chunk of information about this plant from the web: The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) is a palm in the genus Phoenix, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit. Dates contains 20-70 calories each, depending on size and species. Dry or soft dates are eaten out-of-hand, or may be pitted and stuffed with fillings such as almonds, walnuts, candied orange and lemon peel, tahini, marzipan or cream cheese.
The detailed information about dates such as its countless commercial and domestic usages are presented here.
There are a lot of other cool things about a date palm like its strong relation to desert travelers, which is explained here. It has an impressive and unique defense mechanism against desert conditions (the long taproot enables it to reach down to water sources). Also, the staple food it bears–dates.
No wonder Arabs consider it a tree of life just like coconut.
Truly, this day with dates at Kamsa Kamsa Park is worthwhile. It is always refreshing to see something as green as the palm’s leaves and as yellow and red as dates, to witness people chilling out, or just to inhale a trophic air from the woods therein.
The Eco-Warrior’s Creed: “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”
A Date Palm Named Methuselah at sciencefriday.com
VISIT RIYADH’S DATE SOUK at blueabaya.com
“Methuselah” Palm Grown From 2,000-Year-Old Seed is a Father at news.nationalgeographic.com
Saudi Aramco World : A History of Dates at saudiaramcoworld.com
THE KING’S FOREST- RAWDAT KHURAIM at blueabaya.com