04-Apr-2004 -- We were on a 9-day trip to the northern area of the Kingdom and were passing through the Ḥā'il area. We had already visited two other confluence points. The next morning after visiting 27N 41E the group split as Craig, Sandy, Jim & Helen went west and then north to Taymā', and Alistair, Sean, and Barry went north east of Ḥā'il (Continued at 28N 42E).
We headed west from Jabal Ajar on the main Ḥā'il - al-`Ulā road for an hour, refuelled at al-`Amā'ir and soon left the paved road with 19 km to go in a straight line to the confluence point.
Minor tracks went in a north westerly direction across rocky gravel plains and low hills. There were numerous big camps with the black goat hair family tents, although there appeared to be little pastures for the goats and camels. They locals were very surprised to see us driving past their front door. Then suddenly we turned into sand stone. This slowed progress, but was colourful, as the grey sand stone upper level had sometimes disintegrated leaving bright red sandstone layers. The tracks further deteriorated and the sand stone became more difficult with very soft patches of fine sand in between. We let some air out of the tyres and wound our way around the rocks as best as we could.
With 800 metres to go, the very minor tracks we were trying to follow faded away, so we left the cars and proceeded on foot. It was a very clear day and although it was noon, it was a pleasant spring like temperature, which made for a nice walk. Nearby, on the top of a small hill, was an old stone marker for those earlier travellers on camel, but this certainly didn't mean it was suitable for cars, but it made it easy for us to find our way back.
On the way out we took a different southerly route over slightly more used tracks which improved as we got out of the sand stone and into the gravel/sandy hills. The tracks led to the small village of Dhawra on the main road.
The various types of terrain made this an interesting confluence point to visit even though it took a lot longer than we had expected.
Continued at 27N 39E.