24 July 2024

Most unforgettable bushcamp ever, hence no photos. I think the driver got lost or was looking for somewhere else but we seemed to go around in a big loop. We finally got to our campsite well after darkness had fallen. It was a family beach called Mena Holiday Beach Resort Half Moon. It was in a sheltered bay about 10 or 15 km wide halfway up the western coast of the Arabian Gulf, opposite Bahrain, our next destination.

The site was about a 60 or 70 meter strip between the carpark and the waters edge. Its wasn’t exactly exciting. There was a mosque though, with ablutions, so no need for trowels! A busy motorway was about 100 metres in the opposite direction. The ground was compacted sand and looked scruffy and uncared for.

We setup the kitchen and then pitched our tents right on the fence line so we wouldn’t be run over during the nights by some mad eejit who couldn’t drive or had their lights switched off. Our tents were next to each other so no privacy.

On a positive note! Dinner was delicious. Our best yet. It was a chichen concoction with couscous and had pomegranate seeds which were like little taste bombs. I had seconds

After dinner we packed the kitchen stuff away. Quite an involved job as cooking for up to 20 people needs a lot of pots and pans, gas bottles and burners, tables and chairs, water jerrycans, food, condiments, sauces, herbs and spices etc etc etc. There is a definite method into what goes where and into what container. There is also an order into when and where the boxes and other pieces of equipment are stored. Otherwise, there would be chaos. There was no chaos.

As soon as this was done, we went to our tents at around 8.30pm. We knew that there was a last minute blip with the bus being allowed to travel into Bahrain so instead a decision was made to leave the bus in Saudi at a bus station about 60km from our campsite and then catch a regular bus to Bahrain border post and a taxi to the hotel where we would stay for a few days. This meant that we would need to leave at 5am sharp, and without a cup of tea, for the bus station. With this in mind, I set my alarm for 4.14am to allow me to unpitch my tent and not rush. I thought I’d get about 6hrs sleep.

Not a bit of it. The noise was horrendous. The motorway was noisy, kids on bikes with no baffles revving all night long, cars coming and going etc. I could filter that out, eventually, but what annoyed me were some monumental gobshites about 30 meters away who shouted and screeched the whole night long. They were still at it when we were leaving. They must have been drunk or coked up to their eyeballs or incredibly stupid and insensitive to others sharing the campsite. Or a combination if all three. The result was that I didn’t get much sleep and got up at 4.15am tired and grumpy.

I had made some sandwiched for breakfast the previous night so scoffed these down with 2 boiled eggs. I also had a cup of tea prepared and kept warm in a thermos mug. I had breakfast as the bus departed for the station at 5am.


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