A Rocky Desert Stroll

Enjoying a Natural Wonderland When a coworker asked if I wanted to take a cruise out of the city and into the desert, my answer was immediate and second nature.  I’d been thinking about getting out of the city limits that I’d confined myself to for weeks.

I had no idea what we were going to do there. I was told that there would be a common interest group of ex pats meeting.  That was it.

After leaving the city and passing an area that resembled  a scant suburbia, there was nothing but highway and desolation.  About an hour passed before we found ourselves off the highway and in an area that was inhabited only by camels.  The front-wheel-drive car barely made it over terrain that was really suited for a 4-wheel drive.

We came to an area where there were a bunch of ex-pats hanging out.

After shooting the breeze with a few others who are working in the Kingdom, it was announced that we’d be going on a hike.  This made me both happy and excited.  As we set off, I found it odd because I’d never hiked with a group of more than than 10 or 15 people.  There were around 200 of us.

We hiked for a couple of hours, around a huge rock that’s called Faisal’s Finger.  We went up, down, and around some rather rocky terrain.  The rough surface of the two-hour stroll was nothing like my super-smooth desert hike in the Oasis of Huacachina.

I had my camera out for most of the time and managed the following shots:

Feel free to click on the images for enhanced views and a manual  slide show.


Some Serious Rock FormationHere I pondered upon how long these formations have been taking shape. It’s surely not an amount of time that a human is able to fathom.

Plateau in the DistanceWhile gazing at this vista, all I could think about was how I’d love to plan a more intense desert hike, as I’ve never walked along a plateau such as the one in the distance.

Fellow Hikers Below in the DistanceThis is about as high as hiked as I didn’t want the herd to get too far ahead.  At the time, I didn’t know that we were making a big circle around the verticle rock in the following photos.

Phat Finger Like Rock FromationsThis is about as close as I’d get to the actual Finger Point, before heading back down to catch up to the others.

Finger Shaped RockHere you see Faisal’s Finger from a different angle.

A Disarray of EarthAs it’s late September, the temperature has begun to come down.  It’s now a fair deal cooler compared to a few weeks back when it was unbearable.  The hot desert breeze was therapeutic.

It was a perfect day for a stroll in the rocky desert.

19 Responses to A Rocky Desert Stroll

  1. pinkybinks says:

    Great shots ED :)

  2. Paul Thomas-Barnes says:

    Interesting desert!

  3. Ganesh says:

    I searched Wikipedia to read more about Faisal’s finger, but couldn’t find much.

    By the way, I’m seeing your photos are hosted on Flickr, and lead to directly linked image rather than the flickr page for that image. Would like to see your flickr account :-)

  4. susan tuttle says:

    Awesome, Michael! I REALLY enjoy all your “stories”-or should I say “blogs(?) and continue to have such admiration for all you do, etc. This is my first time “commenting”…..I assume I followed the (simple for most but not for me-hehe) directions correctly, and my “comment” will get to you.

  5. Bridget says:

    Hi Mikey!
    I’m so happy you blog! These are great pictures and I always love your writing! Thanks for sharing. :) bridget

  6. Arianwen says:

    Good job getting such nice pictures when you were there with 200 people! It’s so frustrating when you get the shot set up just right and then someone obscures the lens! Right, I’m off to click on the link to Huacachina now. I’ll be there in a few weeks!

  7. 200?! That’s a LOT of expats! That desert scenery is spectacular, reminds me of my time in Egypt a few years back. Glad you got to get out into nature!

    • EarthDrifter says:

      SARAH: Thanks, I was pretty happy to get out of this huge city and out into that whole different world. Walking around in nature with that many people was really overwhelming until I quickly got used to it.

  8. Al says:

    Nice hike. Glad that you got to do a bit of drifting outside your usual urban setting. Did you make any new contacts? Sounds like this expat group may be a good way to do some more exploring. And by the way, did you learn who or what Faisal was?

    • EarthDrifter says:

      AL: Yes. This particular group heads out to different desert areas fairly often it seems. I haven’t yet figured out if I’ll head out again, but I think there’s a great chance of it. I haven’t yet been able to find out who the rock is named after, but I have asked around a bit and tried to research it.

  9. Pru says:

    Mike, gorgeous pictures. What an incredible looking hike! Looks like some crumbly terrain – was it tough to get your footing going up and downhill?

    • EarthDifter says:

      PRU: Thanks! Crumbly is an accurate way to put it. I had sneakers on. They were perfect. I still felt that there was great potential for ankle twisting. Going up was much easier than going down. Many people had to squat and use a hand while ascending. The terrain was completely new to me. This made it very enjoyable.

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