As a living soul who was born in an archipelago surrounded with the finest beaches in the world, the first time I heard about Red Sand somewhere in the desert I was like, “Really!” I’ve seen different colors of sand from white, gray, black, orange, and pinkish but never in my life that I’ve laid eyes on red sand. If this is genuine in existence then, I would love to see it myself.
One of my friend put out a feeler question whether I want to have some adventure and go with her to Red Sand. Saying no was not really an option at this juncture. In fact, every cell in my bag of bones are dying of boredom and this is my chance to take it out from the four corners of my so-called home.
Red Sand is situated 49 miles away from the heart of Riyadh city. It would take you more or less an hour drive depending on your speed of course. The road trip itself was spellbinding. As soon as you get out of the city, it felt like you got transported to another planet. A dry planet with magnificent towering rock formations, massive desert landscape, a very few inhabitants, and scarce of green trees. We barely saw a tree on our way to our definite destination.
As we got closer, the red desert sand dunes greeted us with its sweet-tempered hello. The color of the sand is not really perfect red, it’s red-orange. Several people were already there ahead of us. During the weekends, Red Sand is among the top destinations of both Saudis and expats. We may come here with different reasons but one thing is for sure, we all want to escape from the tension of life and say goodbye to all can of worms once and for all.
There’s no entrance fee in Red Sand. However, the moment you stepped out of the car you’ll be surrounded with touts. They will offer their ATVs for rent and trust me, they are pushy. They will not stop until you’ll get one, say no or walk away with a clear message that you’re not interested at all.
We walked few meters towards the sand dunes and we rented an ATV. How much? We got it for 20SAR (good for 1-2 hours) much cheaper compared to 30SAR which was offered to us earlier. I gave extra 5SAR to the ATV handler. He deserved it for getting me out of hock when I was buried in the sand. He he!
We break ground to uncover what red sand had to offer. Being there was indeed a bewitching experience rather than seeing it in a picture. We invaded red sand as if it was our playground.
Driving our ATVs, we puffed up the fantastic moment at the scenic ground. We went on separate direction for as long as we meet at the same spot after an hour or two. It was normal to catch sight of people who got buried in the sand with their ATVs and luckily I was one of them. Great!
While some people rejoiced in taking their ride via easy path, most of us were inclined towards the extremes. Just be ready to get buried in the sand unless you master the art of maneuvering a quad bike then, there shouldn’t be a problem.
I went up full speed heading to the top and decided to take the other way down. Taking the steep route was ideal to avoid collisions with other quad bikers. However, the consequence was reprehensible. I lose control of my quad bike on my way down then, boom! Thanks to the Good Samaritan who came to lend his helping hand.
It was such a disgrace then, here comes another quad biker who tagged after me. Bad things happened and he’s landing was even worse. His quad bike turned upside down while he’s buried next to it. No worries, it’s very rare you’ll get injuries here. The sand was soft and powdery. All you have to do is jump out of your quad bike like a flash when something is not working as planned.
TIPS and TRICKS
- Go there early as it would be very hot later 10 am.
- If you’re not ready to seal a deal with anyone (ATV rentals) then stay away from touts. Don’t forget to switch on your haggling skills if you wish to save a penny.
- Don’t forget your sun protection (sun screen, sun glasses, etc.). Bear in mind that you’re in a desert and expect no shades from trees whatsoever.
- Drive your quad bike at your own risk and with caution. Be considerate with other quad bikers and don’t drive like you own the whole Red Sand.
- Enjoy the ride and appreciate the stupendous landscape like no other.