Posted on | November 14, 2012 | Comments Off
There are some simple precautions worth taking to avoid unpleasant or even dangerous situations when driving on these two routes:
• Many donkeys and camels have been set free in the desert as more and more of the Arab people move into the towns and acquire cars. A ‘spooked’ camel can suddenly appear without warning and walk across the road – be on the look out for the unexpected.
• Donkeys are ‘invisibly’ grey and like to sleep at night on the warm tarmac which has retained the sun’s heat. A tired driver may fail to notice one of these animals and a bad accident may occur.
• Always check carefully before pulling off the road; some roads have very steep ditches on either side while others have soft sand verges.
• For long journeys when you are not always driving on tarmac roads, a compass can be very helpful.
• Learn about local dangers such as snakes, desert spiders and scorpions, some can have fatal bites. When camping always shake out your bedding and tap out your shoes in the morning. When walking in the desert wear good, thick desert boots which are easy to buy in Riyadh or Jeddah.
• The Red Sea is a big breeding ground for sharks so be on the look out. Take the advice of the locals. They fish in boats made of logs tied together and they dangle their legs over the side – I have never seen a one-legged fisherman.
•When swimming in the Red Sea always wears shoes or ‘saracen’ sandals; there are many stone fish which are so well camouflaged that they can be trodden on unwittingly. They can be fatal.
• When driving anywhere in the Kingdom always carry your passport, identity card or letter from a sponsor. In the unlikely event that something does go wrong it is helpful to register with your Embassy before departing for your journey. They will mark your passport and take care of you when in difficulty.