07-Feb-2003 -- On the previous day we had visited in the late afternoon the confluence point 24N 44E, which was in the midst of sandy plains. We had then proceeded to find a very nice camping spot 5 km to the south where there was a low ridge of hills with a few trees.
The Friday morning - the 7th of February - was another beautiful sunny Saudi winter day. We continued northwards through sandy plains, which meant we could travel at good speed until we came to lower sections of the track, which had been washed out by the recent heavy rains. There was a big jabal range to the east, which will need further exploration next season. After 2 hours, as we travelled northward, we hit the pavement on a road to al-Ša`rā' and after a few km turned east on the main Dawādimiy-`Afīf road for a short time and then north through small villages with some big farms. After passing several closed gas stations, as is common on Friday mornings before the main prayer, we filled up with gas in al-Qurayn.
To our northeast we had been looking at a huge granite jabal and it did not take much discussion to once again leave the paved road and go and take a closer look. Jabal Jabala is very impressive and has some fantastic wind and rain sculptures on the lower portions where it meets the sandy plains, and around the base there were many healthy trees because of the runoff when it does rain. We had lunch at the base of the jabal and took photos of the huge slabs of granite just waiting to slide down in the next few, or maybe hundreds of years.
As we drove around the north side there were Bedouins tending their sheep and goats as there was good grazing. A small wādiy leading into the mountain appears from the Arabic signs to be part of a park system and there were several local families having picnics. As time was running on we continued across sandy gravel plains, which became less green as we crossed the Dawādimiy-Nifiy road. Soon after, we came to the confluence point 25N 44E, which had been previously visited a few months earlier by another group coming the easy way from the north on paved roads. As those folks had left no permanent marking, we built a small mound of stones inside a discarded tire to record our visit.
Then we turned around and headed home. A long trip back through Dawādimiy to Riyāḍ passing over sand dunes and some big hay farms where there was a good source of water. It was another good weekend exploring the Arabian shield.