Adventure of Life

Adventure of Life

Friday, June 30, 2017

The Hidden Canyon of Saudi Arabia

Several months ago, when there still no load of work, so internet all along, I came across *Couchsurfing Riyadh blog (a group of people living in Riyadh seeking for new and badass adventure that can be experience in Saudi Arabia, and just love their newly discovered nature spot in Riyadh they called “The Hidden Canyon”, 130 kilometers from the capital city. I was intrigued by this discovery and started to search this place online. I don’t know about this place, and after reading others blog and saw some pictures of it, I decided to give it a try. Well, dear friends and readers, here are the compilation of the videos and photos I captured while we were there, a huge success to see a lot of new, exciting places.

The coordinates for the place: 23.910811, 46.939980 
You can see the Hidden Canyon in this map, 

During our road trip going back to the city, we also went to Al Yamama resort - Largest wave pool in Riyadh. 

*Couchsurfing Riyadh Group are affiliated in the apps and website called “Couchsurfing” which the main purpose is for travelers to provides a platform for members to stay as a guest at someone's home (homestay), host travelers, meet other members, or join an event, they get to stay with a local who may show them around, but always gives them a nice place to sleep, and it doesn't cost a penny. (Separate blog to follow how it works)

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Conquering the Great Hidden Valley of Saudi Arabia

Well, this is my second time to visit Hidden Valley (after long 5 years); the first time happened way back 2011, but sad to say, I did not able to blog the experience due to less eagerness in my part and not that much interested doing written documentation since all I wanted, being gullible in a world of heat and sand, (desert as it may pertains) was to see Hidden Valley and experience different activity other than working as an expatriate. So, when my friends decided to go for a trip, I did not hesitate to say YES, I think of, with this adventure, I will be able to replenish the memories, to finally write about Hidden Valley with my own blogsite and (maybe also for all OFW here in Saudi Arabia will be able to discover that Saudi is not just what you see is what it is.)
Hidden valley (expats term) or Wadi Nissa (Arabic Name) is located west side of Riyadh; travel time to reach this destination is about an hour from Riyadh City proper. It is composed of outstanding rock mountain formations and astonishing sand dunes. The attraction to climb the peaks of each rock mountains was one of the reasons why expats visited this place. Location: click for the location GPSMore visitors flocked to the area, establishing a huge interest of trekking or mountain climbing.
Saudi Arabia is a true paradise that is just being rediscovered. 

Hidden Valley have been attracting expatriates mostly OFW for over the years who are also finding themselves drained to life of being expatriates – work, work and work , those that required to get off the crushed path , and wanted to go further and find new ways to celebrate and enjoy life. 
The Road-Silent Hill

Having spent our time eating breakfast, our group was eager to get to best picture before the sun heat scorch in our skin. 
Hidden Valley had a wide range of Table Mountains like the picture above.Just at the beginning of the prized via this magnificent view in Hidden Valley.

In this area, which you can see the full view of Hidden Valley, is unquestionably the most significant and most noteworthy section of this magnificent site. So a panoramic view is a must. Though it might come into sight as if the Rocky Mountains are being indistinguishable, a closer look reveals that they differ in their details. 

Hidden Valley boast immeasurable rock formations that brings so much life and emotions in one picture, so as a hobbyist photographer like me, I could not resist myself taking each and every step during our walk along the trail . Here are the pictures I clicked at Hidden Valley. Definitely will come back again and again.

Another Reason to Love “Ashra-Ashra Saudi Arabia”

If you’ve read any of my past blog post, this article is just an update/additional post regarding my experience about this place, but this time will focus on its photography aspect.

Place: Al Haeer Park in Arabic or Ashra Ashra Park (formerly known as Kamsa Kamsa) from the word Ashra or ten as the entrance fee is Ten Riyals is located at Al Ghania, West Riyadh, an hour trip from Central Riyadh City. This is the best place to enjoy and relax. It becomes a favorite destination of our Kababayans for a family or group hangouts because of its best picnic grounds and beautiful sceneries that so unexpected in Saudi.Many finds it as a way to escape the strict way of living in the city since security in this area is not that strict like in any other place in Saudi. As soon as you enter the place,you can feel the warm welcome of all our kakabayans and the presence of "pagsasaya" like you were in the Philippines (home sweet home).You can see here once more the true smile of a Filipino and rare valuable privacy. You can read the blog here for the detailed description. 

Location: Click here

Here are a bunch of Photos straight from my camera:

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Arab Culture Values

Personal Thoughts
To Ahmed, thank you a lot for showing us the meaning of Eid Al-Adha and for sharing this special gift. We feel privileged to be part of this wonderful tradition.

It is better to give than to receive, but in my experience last Eid Al- Adha celebration (September 13, 2016), when one of our local Saudi friend strong-willed gave part of their family sacrificial meat to us as a representation of friendship, the feeling of receiving something is way better and really rightly affects me as one person in a manner of making friends that I considered in philosophy as trusting of new people which is very important for us as an expatriate living in Saudi Arabia. So, much as I try to give back the gratitude and acknowledging what I received for this matter, I decided to write this quick blog, a blog that will tackle the meaning of this Eid al-Adha tradition, tradition that does not only a symbol of Islam but a tradition with pure heart and love. So here it is.
Portion of the sacrificial meat.

Special Chilli Lamb Stew : dish I prepared, best suited recipe for this special gift. I'll blog the recipe on my next post 

Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah and lasts for four days until the 13th day. In the international (Gregorian) calendar, the dates vary from year to year drifting approximately 11 days earlier each year. Eid al-Adha is the latter of the two Eid holidays, the former being Eid al-Fitr. The word Eid appears once in Al-Ma'ida, the fifth sura of the Quran, with the meaning "solemn festival" and Adha means sacrifice. Eid al-Adha enjoys special significance because the Day of Sacrifice marks the climax of Hajj or Pilgrimage, the fifth pillar of Islam. This annual pilgrimage to Makkah and Madinah in Saudi Arabia is an obligation only for those men and women who are physically and financially able to perform it once in their lifetime.

Feast of Sacrifice or sacrificing their best halal domestic animals (usually a cow, but can also be a camel, goat, sheep, or ram) in an act known asqurbani. This symbolizes Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his only son, however, at the last moment, Allah tells Ibrahim to spare the child and sacrifice something else instead. And this is what Abraham ultimately sacrificed.
The meat from the sacrificed animal is preferred to be divided into three parts. The family retains one third of the share; another third is given to relatives, friends, and neighbors; and the remaining third is given to the poor and needy. The meat is distributed during the days of the holiday or shortly thereafter. Muslims around the world observe this event. During the celebration, Muslims are also expected to visit their kin, from their parents down to their friends.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Majestic Beauty of Saudi's Ain Heet Cave and Authentic Picnic to Remember

Saudi isn’t just places with parched and desolate tract characteristic, it is more than that, it is with characters - characters that can call as adventurist, and even if Saudi Arabia is a Muslim personage with a strict feature as it is compared, dressed in to thobe and abaya that signify conventional or conservative character, you’re likely to fall in love with its sparkle natural surface that is waiting to be discovered.
Heet Cave Adventure
As an RND of profession, most of my time spent researching for new food ideas and development plus the status of Saudi Arabia as conservative country, my exposure to Saudi exciting activity comes only from the internet and some friends whom I talk with, so understanding Saudi’s present adventure is such like odd and very seldom activity. That is why every time there is an opportunity to savor the real Saudi by means of adventure; I make sure this will be very memorable one, just like when we decided to go to Ain Heet Cave for an exploration; an escapade that will expose Saudi that oftentimes appears unapproachable with our new-found Saudi friend.
Ain Heet cave is an underground lake situated at the face of Mount Al Jubayl in Wadi As Sulay in a diminutive rural community called Heet in Riyadh. It is accessible through Al Kharj road and one of the easily reached caves in the vicinity of Riyadh, Saudi Arbia. The mouth of Ain Heet cave is about 20 meters wide and it narrows down to approximately 5 meters while you cave a distance of 100 meters inside. The cave is named Ain Heet where Ain means eye. Large rocks hanging encompass geological formation in the cave which rises out of the plain roughly.
Our own visit to the Ain Heet Cave rock was on a hot summer season. It was late in the afternoon, but the sun was still beating down hard. We had travelled by car with newly found friends, all a residents of Saudi Arabia. 
The approach downward was very precipitous, approximately 45 degrees inclined as I describe in my trekking stated below and not a compressed path down. You can have your own path downward whatever you may like. At first and since I’m not into trekking, I must say that the struggle is real, required to endure lot of phobia but when I started to mage to go through at the middle of the cave, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to mesmerized to the rock formation for myself. Walking through the rows of rocks, there was something I found peculiar. weird and wonderful to think that it had emerged onto this landscape, considering it is Saudi Arabia, relative to the desert and dry country. And the outlandish motionlessness of the cave itself gave it an otherworldly superiority, making it straightforward to portrait this magnificent creation of God.
During trekking, there was enough rock to allow regular footholds, but not that fixed steadily, so be very careful and analyze first before you decide each step you will make.
We decided to go on swimming at the bottom of the cave before returning back to our way out. Sadly it takes only half hour to experience this clear water that Ain heet Cave has to offer since dark fall very fast and we are afraid to get blinded by the dark since no light or electricity in the area. I also did not able to take pictures during our swimming due to my excitement to get embrace by the area. Feeling proud!!!!
After swimming, we prepared ourselves for an Arabic ultimate party and traditional picnic offered by our local friends; we made our way towards the looming road and parked up on the vacant lot. 
We prepare our foods, Filipino chicken Adobo, Spaghetti and Shawaya chicken; exquisite recipe made by our Saudi local friends which cooked for almost 4 hours to get the perfect taste and authentic flavor of the spices they used in the process, seasoning proceedings with a pinch of expertise. Happily, it looks like it's brightening up at last piece that makes everything taste nicer.
We stayed for 8 hours in the area and it was the perfect duration. With this, we did most of the interesting activities: dancing, card games, and silly conversation and friendship matters. The conversation was very lively and the food delicious as usual!
The Saudi Deserts made by the family of our Saudi friend - Chocolate Cake and a Vermicelli Sweets
Cooking  Chicken Shawaya
Master Chef-Mr. Walid No.1
The Finished Product - Chicken Shawaya
Dancing 101-Arab Dance
That day I learned most important aspects which a person need while working and it was one of the most memorable and best experiences in my life. The experience that feels absolutely bounded by adventure pleasure and you may think of like there’s no stopping, life’s too short for a perfect ending.