Monday, April 13, 2009

Along the Saudi Road

general

The journey from Doha to Makkah alone is about 1,500km. In normal circumstances, I'd probably prefer to stop and have a good night rest at every 500km journey. However, this trip does not fall under normal circumstances. Plus the only nice city to stop is Riyadh. Not to mention, we'd prefer to reach Makkah the earliest and reap the benefits while the leave off work last.

We didn't really set a rigid target to stop. We are hoping to brave it as much as the eye can take. Initial planning is to stop sometime after Riyadh. Alas the long stop at the border and the sleepy eyes overtook the men, thus we stopped sometime after Hofuf, which is the intersection between the red line and the purple line in the map.

PhotobucketJust to share with you, there are many motels along the route to Makkah and Madinah. Some of them are under the government wings and some are private business. They would have motels which provide seriously basic amenities, mini market, petrol station, public toilets and mosques.

The motel that we stayed in was ok lah. They charged it for SR90 per night. It has three beds and an attached toilet.

There was another one that we went was errr not ok at all. The bedsheets look soiled, the toilet was not that dirty but would definitely not pass the normal standard in your household. I didn't sleep in this one. We only found it by accident.

You see in Saudi, women don't just walk in the restaurant and sit at any table she likes. Restaurants and eating areas are for men by default. You need to ask for the family section. And most of the time, the restaurants at these areas do not have family section. So they'd offer us one of the rooms in their motel as a place to eat. Charged at SR10-15 per hour.

My tip is
1. If you think you would not be happy with the condition of the mattress/ bed sheet, bring your own blankie or I'd prefer sleeping bag. I would not suggest pillows though for I personally need the space in the car. Remember you'd also want to buy stuff later on. Like zam zam, books and probably souvenirs. I used towels as pillow. Do bring your own shower gel/ soap. Plus shouldn't you bring this anyway so you could shower at the meeqat later?

2. Or do check out better hotels along the route and set it as your target. So perhaps you can set the time to leave home so it would suit your arrival time at the hotel. Take note that idle time at the border can vary from half an hour to whatever.

3. Just stop the car at the roadside and sleep in the car. If you need to use the toilet, the motel areas usually have public toilet which are reasonably clean. They told me it is much cleaner now than before. I don't have much complaints though, even though as usual I prefer to wait until I reach the destination or until I am one second to burst, whichever comes earlier.

saudisaudisaudisaudisaudisaudi
gps makkah
masjidil haram


In total the mileage clocked in at about 5000km. This would include going rendezvous in Jeddah and Riyadh, traveling to Madinah the riyadh and to Al Khobar. then only back to Qatar.

You know after traveling for 1500km one way, we now can say 400km is dah dekat daaahh.

16 comments:

rotidua said...

you're back!

tell us more!

butterflutter said...

Dekat and jauh is very subjective. Cant imagine lah travel that far but what an experience kan.

Waiting for more stories to come
;-)

azGROWLen said...

rindunye makkah

BabyBooned said...

alhamdulillah, ure back safe and sound :)

i am undeniably green with envy! so cannot help it! heheh. one day i hope i'll step foot in makkah too.

after living in australia for 3 years memang rasa 400 km tu dah dekat dah sebab negeri tu besaq ;)

Lollies said...

rotidua - sedang mencuba. :D

BF - I remembered masa travel gi Oman tu pun jauh. But i usually stop in 500km clock. Yang ni memang terasa jauhnya. But some people memang terer lah boleh drive tanpa a long stop.

azgrowlen - now that you said it, when I put up the masjidil haram picture, which is on the marwah side, terasa sangat rindunya. This was our point of masuk. Rsanya macam cepat sangat aje.

babybooned - Insya Allah you will. :D

I can imagine. From one city to naother in australia tu nampaknya amat jauh. I should read about your adventure.

zan said...

1500? fuhhh jauh tu unless you make several stops, kalau tak, tak rasa buntut hhehe..

glad u're back and everything went well :)

mosh said...

alaa cannot see any photos. must open this again at home.

it is quite far, 1500km. the furthest one destination trip road trip i had almost 1000km going from melb to syd. i thin we must've done like 5000km+ during our honeymoon 8 years ago tu kot. tak ingat lah lama dah 9 years ago tu.

anyway, alhamdulillah you're back safe and sound at home

Anonymous said...

Iam very much interested in the Garmin GPS map that you had displayed in your blog. Is the Makkah Garmin map the latest? Second , is it reliable enough to carry you around the city or country?

Warm Regards

lalatbotak@yahoo.com

Lollies said...

zan - had to make several stops sebab drebar mengantuk amat.

mosh - road trips are a lot of fun aye?

lalatbotak - I am very happy with the Garmin I am using. generally when you purchase it, you'll be given the latest middle east map and thus the last updated makkah map as well. In Madinah sometime can get a bit confusing. But otherwise the GPS had been very helpful in all our journeys in the middle east and also Malaysia. :D

yayer said...

Bro,

Maner dapat gps map garmin format yang kat gambar tu? Saya akan pegi haji 16 nov ni...saja nak bawak garmin nuvi 250W saya, tapi map tak der...boleh download ker..? atau email myayer@gmail.com

TK

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Lollies said...

yayer - the function tu ada kat dalam the GPS itself. turn on the camera function and snapshot whatever screen picture you like. if this is what you mean lah

Anonymous said...

Salam
Do write about your road trip. Most of the time I read from tour packages. Your write up o Iran reaveled to me plces that I do not even know it exists
Thanks
Ain

Lollies said...

Thanks Ain. Hope you find them beneficial