Good morning from The KIngdom of Bahrain! So what more could you ask for in a destination, we have glorious warm sunshine an outstanding view of the mainland from the Island, fishing baskets/traps and I can see the sea courtesy of the top floor apartment of our hosts. This makes me very happy. Given that I didn't wake til lunch time its fair to say I missed most of the day. However, Bahrain is a city that comes alive at night according to our excellent tour guides and hosts from Mad Bastard Tours inc.
We are based on Amwaj Island which is part of a group of man made Islands. The plan for it was created in 2000 and it offered ex pats living in the Kingdom of Bahrain 100% freehold land ownership. It also increased the amount of waterfront property available. The Island was fit for residential use by 2016, and introduced a number of new technologies to the region including, geotubes for the reclamation phase of the island, vacuum sewerage and fibre optic "smart city" technology. The Islands are connected to Muharraq Island by 2 causeways, and are 10.5km from the capitol.
Traffic is batshit crazy in Bahrain, indicators appear to be optional and the horn is used ... a LOT!! Fuel is incredibly cheap although it has recently increased from 20p a litre to 30p. Its truly scandalous, it really is. The Kings properties are really well protected as you would expect, but you can tell where they are due to the fact that the sides of the road are beautifully manicured, lush and green with flowers and clearly watered on a regular basis! The Politicians homes are on much the same lines, although the houses are more visible to the public. A lot of Americns work in the Oil Industry and their homes are pretty plush too, but nowhere near the grandeur of the Kings (obviously), or his politicans.
One of Bahrains famous landmarks is The Tree Of Life its well work a look and the short drive to is worth it alone! Its situated in the South Arabian desert, bang smack in the middle of the oil and gas fields, with no other vegetation for miles around and is accessed by dirt roads in the main . The small visitors centre built by the Ministry of Culture, provides an 800 metre natural protection barrier for the tree and ruins from vehicles. The tree is thought to be 400 years old, and to my mind is a miracle because there is no water for as far as the eye can see, its roots must go down for miles.
The Oil and Gas fields are immense, the size of which i have no idea, my bad. As far as the eye can see are miles and miles of pipelines, and their pumps which look like nodding Donkeys. It is a site to behold. The area is obviously desert and greenery is scarce and reminds me of something out of Mad Max. As you enter the oil fields there are large warnings signs one of the messages being, NO Camping. Personally I can think of nothing worse than camping in an oilfield in the middle of a dessert with "Gas Hazzards" but, people do.... In their hundreds for the winter months as the temperatures are much cooler. than high summer. Pre the Rona, it was a regular occurance, they go out, pitch a substantial tent, take the kids outdoor playsets, and probably the kitchen sink and seem to leave them up for an indetermined length of time, all fenced off so they have claimed their pitches. There are some tents available for rent too, but to be honest it doesnt really appeal to me. It seems to be a place where they rock up with their motorbikes and quads and have an absolute ball. It would be quite the giggle methinks. Apart from the whole tent thing. I'm waaaay to old for that shite.
From the Tree of life and the Oil Fields we headed out of the desert with the sun starting to set passing by Naval base, and some of The King of Bahrains homes. The locale around his homes are very different to the rest of the city, lush and green with statues on the roundabouts. Simply stunning! The difference in the properties and surroundings a few minutes down the road is incredible, from luxurious to general residential areas which are tired and lacking any splendour whatsoever. While waiting to pull out of the junction, a flatbed truck went by towing a trailer. You would think that a truck and trailer is nothing unusual .... what was VERY unusual and extremely amusing was the fact there were threee donkets on board, two in the trailer, and one of the bed of the truck. How on eartth they got the donkey in there in the first place, and got it to stay in there is something of mystery. Taking into account that donkeys are notoriously stubborn, i would love to have been a fly on the wall for that loading.
Calling by the Jasra Beach and Harbour we were able to see the King Fahad Causeway, over which you can drive to Saudi which takes around 4.5 hours. we didnt do that as we were enroute to https://bahrainrfc.com for some supper. the Club was established in 1971, and is historically the regions most succesful rugby club. besides rugby, you can partake in gaelic football, netball, football, cricket badmiton and health and fitness. The facilities are superb, with a very nice restaurant called Manos on site and club house and bar that serves some seriously good food. The salmon was huge and perfectly cooked and came with a salad... Go me! It was a tough decision given the choices open to me. Both places are catered for by Manos, but the restaurant is a la carte. The set up is really good with so many sports catered for and encouraged, which has to be a good thing in my most humble opinion and the club house/bar is the best I've ever been in.... yet.
Where does time go when youre having the best time, seeing new things and laughing with friends? Before we knew it it was time to head home, a lush day out being shown Bahrain by the experts, With full bellies and heavy eyelids we headed back to the apartment for a relatively early night.
much love Flairey. x