Sudanese camel herder out in the desert, Mecca way
Ahmed managed to arrange a car with a driver to take us up to the city of Taif, 6,000 feet up an escarpment a hundred miles or so east of Jeddah. THis was the plan back in February but we never quite pulled it off. The road to Taif follows first the road to Makkah/Mecca, where of course, no non-Muslims are allowed to enter. This had us forking right to take the road along thedesert up to the escarpment, where one has to climb about 5,000 feet on a road with ninety bends over a distance of over 15 miles, quite an experience.
As I find whne travelling with Fred, it is impossible to travel from A to B without stopping along the way to take photos. All opf a sudden on a hill to our left was a heard of camels scattered around, which had me asking the driver urgently to stop and stop he did. It was a real treat to see that the herd was being looked after and driven along by this camel herder from the Sudan. Hre he is taking a pause fo a cigarette before coming over to ask us if we would like soem camel juice. Despite saying 'yes' and 'good' in my best Arabic he then just walked on and carried on with his own business. Oh well...
As is so often the case, the journey was more fun than the eventual destination. I think Taif has a lot to offer the visitor (especially if one like aqua parks) but with a driver who had never been there and two passengers who had not done their homework, we were dependent on asking random people if they could show us the way to any places of interest. Without too much success, I'm afraid. Better luck next time, I hope.