Saturday, October 19, 2019

Trip to the Inland Sea

Summer is over and the weather has started down to cool down to the point where it is somewhat tolerable. One of my friends decided to organize a road trip through the desert to the Inland Sea.

So myself and some others got into two SUVs and headed out to the desert. For trips across the desert you need at least two vehicles with you, as there is a good chance of getting stuck in the sand at which point you'll need another SUV to help pull the vehicle out.

Below is the route we took. The Inland Sea (called Khor Al Udaid in Arabic) is in the southeast corner of the country, and some parts of it border Saudi Arabia, so we had to stick to the north side.

After heading south on the highway we turned off into the desert. The terrain consisted of mostly rocks and a bit of sand with occasional hills, but as we went further inland more and more sand appeared and soon there were small dunes interspersed on the rocky landscape.
It was at that point that we came across a herd of camels!

The camels were packed together, I assume to provide shade for one another in the afternoon sun. There was no herder around but the camels were content to stand there as long as we did not get too close.

There was one lone camel about 80m away from the herd, not sure why it was on its own.

A few dunes later, sure enough the SUV I was in got trapped in the sand.

It took a while to pull the car out and we continued on to the Inland Sea. There was also a number of security posts whenever we were close to the border so we kept our distance. When we got to the sea one of the first things we saw was a flock of flamingos! Was not expecting that, I guess they were migrating to Africa and stopped in Qatar for a rest. I had never seen flamingos here before.

We started heading towards the Gulf, got stuck a second time, then made it to the area south of Sealine.

In the winter this area is packed with camps and vehicles zooming around but as it was not camping season yet it was fairly quiet, we saw the occasional SUV but all in all it was still pretty empty.

The lead vehicle had sped up a dune but didn't realize it was a sheer drop on the other side. He quickly turned off and didn't go over the edge but then got stuck in the sand.

Pulling him out took a lot of tries but we eventually managed it. We were close to trying to flag down other vehicles to help.

Eventually we reached Sealine and chilled out at the beach, and had a swim, before heading home. Heading overland to Sealine was a bit of an adventure, and we were lucky that only one car at a time got stranded (going with three SUVs might have been better). As the weather is cooling my friends and I are planning further camping and road trips around the country.