16 June 2024

We stopped after a few hours on the road from the frontier without seeing as much as a single house. Just sand dune after sand dune. We spotted this petrol station so stopped to top up the diesel.

There didn’t appear to be much here but we found a little shop and a restaurant. I had lunch there. I had roasted pressed chicken, nice and charred. It was delicious. I also had karak, the local chai or spicy tea and tandoori nan. The price was 17 Riyal or SAR, about €4. Saudi is not cheap.

While we were eating, one of our tripmates came in and said that they were charged 80 SAR for 2 cups of coffee and given change in useless UAE Dinars. One of the drivers went to the coffee kiosk and got the money back. In my experience, people are very honest in Muslim countries and I generally trust them implicitly. This was an aberration.

I tried to get a SIM but unfortunately the fingetprint scanner wouldn’t work so I’ll wait until later. No panic being off the grid for a few days.

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