08-Nov-2002 -- This is the continuation of our weekend trip story, meeting the Confluences 26E 44N and 25E 44N.
So today is Friday, 8 November. A bright sunshine day with convenient temperatures around 24°C by day and 10°C by night (in the desert). At early morning time some barking wild dogs, which visited our camp site took us off the sweet dreams. So we were ready for a nice breakfast under the rising sun, and after packing our camping gear we hit southwards to meet 25N 44E.
By map and route computing that Confluence was about 90 kilometres ahead of us and we still continued over a huge plain area, almost remote and only spotted by some Bedouin posts we saw far off the road. The further we drove, we saw some black mountains southwest of our road, but too far away to attract us for a visit. The whole area is called 'The Arabian Shield' and that is exactly what it looks like.
By coming closer to the Confluence we assumed that it would be an easy one to meet because of these surface conditions. Our assumption was correct and after leaving the tarmac for about 10 kilometres through easy gravel plains, we hit the confluence 25N 44E by our 4-wheelers almost on the spot.
Mission accomplished, we could head homewards and since we had plenty of time, we had chosen to drive normal roads on the country sites. By this, one will pass through many small towns and nice landscapes along the trip. The road is really very varied. We passed agricultural areas again, then there is a huge belt of sand dunes to pass which is called "Nafūd" and after that some plains again, dotted with farms.
The sand dunes of course attract for a stopover to have a small picnic. In between we passed some dry lakes where people can find natural salt in a thick layer of about 20-30 centimetres. The salt is for the beneficiary of animals such as camels and cattle.
The closer we came to Riyāḍ, the more mountains we passed. These mountains belong to the very long belt of mountains that reach from northeast to southwest of Saudi Arabia and those are called the Ṭuwayq (escarpment). One can find images of the Ṭuwayq in some other confluence meetings. Finally, and very tired we returned to Riyāḍ at 5 p.m., full of impressions about what we had seen after driving a total of 937 kilometres.