27-Nov-2003 -- We were on a 4 and a half day `Īd trip to the Ḥā'il area of the Kingdom which is approximately 6 hours drive north of Riyāḍ. We had traveled this area in January and had wanted to come back and explore more of the countryside. We had traveled for 4 hours the first afternoon from Riyāḍ to Burayda and then continued westwards on the new Burayda - Madīna expressway that misses the small villages on the old road. As sunset was only half an hour away, we came to our planned destination for the night, being granite jabals just south of al-Batrā' - Jibāl Abān al-Asmar. The beautiful area was full of local Saudi families from neighboring towns having picnics for the beginning of `Īd, and enjoying being outside in the pleasant temperatures.
It was a short drive back in the morning to the main road and then we headed west for an hour to `Uqlat al-Ṣuqūr ("Hawks' Knuckle") where we filled up with gas. We then left the paved roads and headed for another hour across the gravel plains, zigzagging on little used tracks to the confluence point.
This was truly an uninspiring point - in the middle of flat plains with low rising hills breaking the view - and the photos in all directions look nearly the same. It was our first confluence point for our Kiwi friends, Bernard & Diane, but they did believe us when we said that many others were much more attractive.
From the confluence point we headed northeast to the very old town of Sumayrā' which was on the Darb Zubayda tracks to Makka and then on to the Ḥā'il area, and the next day visited the confluence point 27N 42E.