July 4, 2016 1:00am The Holy month Ramadan is almost finished and my friends planned to go for vacation in Dammam, eat dinner in Rahmania Mall in Al Khobar then visit to Juda’s cave and finally window shopping Batha Riyadh before going back to Buradyah.
First you need to travel from the route I have given.
The first blue line generated by Googlemaps is the fastest route going to ridyadh then exit to Dammam road (???? ?????? Tariq Dammam). You came from King fahad road then take the roundabout going to the left side straight to Northern ring road to dammam road.
Tip: if you have smartphone with 3 months unlimited internet from STC you can access GPS from application google maps just key in the Starting point and Destination then it will give you live forecast of your GPS location.
If you go straight it is too far to exit Riyadh and traffic is jamming in Olaya street so be alert.
After 4 hours we exit to riyadh then we take the first stop in Gasoline station to refill gas and ice for our water jug and take toilet. After some more picture taking and eating lunch we hit back the road to Dammam.
It is a very long journey riding 120kph maximum speed limit. Our driver is very precautious about road camera taking high speed vehicle, he said it is a very strict law in this highway. But don’t worry the pattern we observed is 100km from Riyadh is filled with camera the same situation with 100km before Dammam but the 200km in the middle is very few. We also observed that if the island is concrete barrier possible location of camera is in right side of the road but if it is wire fence only be cautious is the island there is a camera. Another tip is the vehicle in front you if they make hazard light they are slowing down so do the same because they saw a camera.
After almost another 4 hours of journey we already hit Dammam then using GPS from Goggle maps we go straight to what they call Half-moon bay. Through skillful talking with local Saudi’s we learned that there are only three (3) spot for public beach. This beaches is divided to men/women/family beach so choose the best spot for you to take. We choose the third one near holiday inn because it is clean and only few family’s came here.There are already cottage/cabana provided with comfort room, masjid and shower room. This is absolutely free so you can camp here overnight. You should take power bank for you to recharge your phone while swimming on salty sea of Arabian Gulf.
It is fun swimming in the cold water of this salty sea leaving behind the stressful work and hot weather. After eating lunch my company knocked down in our carpet. I taught who the loudest snore of one of them Hahaha I don’t want to mentioned who.
Through the effort of the Kingdom the beach is protected from prostitute and gangers. There are almost every hour raiding security riding civilian FJ cruiser or Toyota corolla around the bay they are called JAWASAT they forbid the women to swim without Hijab and Abaya. But for men just wear shorts and shirts is enough. Don’t take picture of girls swimming like I did especially if their family is around, this is only for documentation purpose only.
It is a revitalizing morning after taking coffee and breakfast in the cottage/ cabana we hit the public market of Dammam through the help of GPS. We amazed when we arrived there It is a big centralized market in the middle town of Dammam.
There is a lot of Filipino going around here to buy fresh goods for 1 up to 2 weeks supply it makes me feel home in the Philippines. The fish is a little bit cheaper here than in Buraydah but still we bargain in order to buy more kilos of fish and squid. a lot of fresh choice and store to bargain with friendly merchant. Vegetables is a higher here than in Buraydah good thing we already have. After that we go straight to our camp in Half-moon bay to finish cooking before lunch.
After lunch we go for another swimming session until 3:00 then we hit the road again going to Al khobar. It is July 6, 2016 around 5:00pm we got to Rahmania mall where it is also feels like home because of crowd of Filipino. Bida ang Saya… Langhap Sarap… we missed eating our favorite jolly spaghetti. Another 2 hours passed our friends already choose his ideal shoes for basketball, laughter with our comedian friend when he wear and brought it.
We brought dinner at the back of Rahmania mall just 17riyal (1rice 2ulam) and 20riyal (2rice 2ulam) also with 1.5 liters of Pepsi. And take it to plaza near Bahrain Bridge.
July 7, 2016 5:00am we packed our things in the car and hit the road going to Al hasa, hofuf. Destination Juda’s cave inside the Qarah Mountain. You may need 25 saudi riyal per person for entrance fee. But if you don’t want to pay you can go around and hit the back/rear part of the mountain and trek at the top were the tower of STC is located and take a picture of unknown cave and mountain carved with camel statue on the Top.
Take note: if you lost track around the mountain you can ask local people “Assalamu alaikum “then” yahudha al’iiskhariuti liaswae almasih” ????? ?????????? ????? ?????? (Judas Iscariot of Jesus Christ) followed by “wen Makan?” Or you can also track yourself through GPS to find entrance to Judas cave. It is just facing south east to gulf sea
It is 12:00 we take our lunch in the car and hit the road again straight to Ugair road going outside of Mubaraz and Al Hasa… it is very tiring trip because of the heat you should take a stopover on gas station along the road and refill the water jug with ice and water specially wet towel and bag of ice for the driver so that he cannot sleep. We exit to Judah in Urayarah and take the roundabout going to Riyadh road. We slept in the car then after almost three (3) hours of journey we reach the Al Batha, Riyadh. We don’t have money already to buy more stuff we just eat dinner in the Filipino restaurant near burned Manila Plaza 3:00pm… I love kare-kare and calderetang baka.
4:00pm we leave Batha and take Olaya to reach the exit to Buraydah.
This is a memorable experience in our life. We hope that we can go there again someday. As of now we go back to our place in Buraydah, Al Qassim pack with stories to tell. THE END