08-Dec-2002 -- During the second half of the Ramaḍān `Īd religious holiday, we joined four other vehicles on a four-day camping trip in the desert. This was a 1,500 km trip that took us over sand dunes, along sand plains, through lava fields, and around granite mountains. During the trip we managed to visit three new confluence points (see 21N 45E, 22N 44E).
We had found the 22N 44E confluence point during the late afternoon, so we decided to camp in the vicinity. We found a wonderfully secluded site protected on three sides by granite rocks, where we spent another Arabian night under the sparkling stars.
After packing up camp, we were dismayed to find that one vehicle had no battery power at all. Fortunately, the problem was merely loose connections and after putting that right we set off. However, the second vehicle then developed a fuel starvation problem, which was finally solved by changing the fuel filter. This was a small reminder that "being prepared" is vital when visiting such remote places.
We headed due north and encountered similar islands of granite surrounded by sand, but the granite hills were much larger and the sand was much softer. On route we happened upon some modern wells (concrete dressed, rather than stone) and ancient bronze-age graves.
The confluence point was located on a low rocky hill within a sandy wādī (valley). The views were not spectacular, as they were confined by the wādī. We made our customary mark and then set off on the four hundred kilometre trek back to Riyāḍ.