We waked up next morning, it was too foggy and we didn’t recover yet from tiredness of the previous day. We decided to hitchhike and at least we pass the 20 km to the main street, and yes one car stopped for us, we ran,get into it, they were soldiers who just finished their night shifts and heading home. At the beginning everyone were silent and I felt they were suspicious about us a Bahraini couple with bags, they didn’t even ask where do you want to go. We decided to break this silence and told them you know what, it sounds weird but we are on a walking journey discovering our own country! one of them got so excited and he said “I would love to something like this, take me with you!” they invited us to have breakfast with them, we thanked them for being nice, giving us a ride to Riffa fort and said goodbye.
[Note: This is day II of a 5-days story of our walking trip around Bahrain. To read Day 1 click here.]
Riffa fort sits on a high hell and from there you can see the urban life all around. The fort dates back to 1812AD and others think the original construction was during the Safavid time. Its importance is related of being home to Bahrain royal family “Al Khalifa” during the 19th century. There are some new things since we lately visited the fort, there is a new restaurant and a new construction which likely to be a museum related to the fort. After touring the fort we went to one of the famous traditional breakfast places in Riffa “Abdulla Alaradi Resturant” we had a meal of Dal, egg and tomato and Karak tea. now we are charged well for killing the kilometres of today and reaching our next camp destination, Sitra mall beach.
We passed through the streets of Riffa, had a small break in front of a small shop, and we attracted the indian guy who was working there as I was setting on the floor in front of the shop. He felt sorry for me and asked me to come inside as it is more cold. we had a little chit chat, He was working in Saudi Arabia and just came to work in Bahrain with lower salary, he expected to get more but as he said “life here is more expensive than Saudi !”.
It is too hot at this time of the day, the sun is too strong and we are heading to a hidden mangroves forest. we crossed Riffa and in the way to Sanad where the forest is. I was asking Hussain is there a real forest! I couldn’t imagine as all what I see is streets and houses. We crossed the highway, some neighbourhoods, big horse stable and private land to reach the forest finally. it is big and very beautiful natural place, but unfortunately it is also a place to throw all the garbage and dead animal bodies! we could see only the front area. And since these trees lives in water, a one need a kayak to go deep inside and see more of the forest. I was reading about the mangroves on our way to it and how it is an important place for birds, birds nests and other type of animals! I couldn’t think how important it is for the ecosystem before reading all about it!
From the mangroves forest to Al Eker village. While we are passing by Al-Eker village we joined some kids who were playing a traditional game and they call it Pingo.The game consists of two teams, the first team should fill the empty bottle with sands, and the other team should target the other team players with the ball to kick them out of the game and prevent them from filling the bottle. The winner is either the team who filled the bottle with sands, or the one who could kicked out all the other team members… Hussain was the first to be kicked out of the game!
We left Al-Eker village with very nice feelings and saying goodbye to our new friends there, continue to the final destination of the day Sitra mall beach! on the way our friend Hussain Alkumaish met us few kilometres before our destination, gave a rescue ride to our campsite! we set up a fire, prepared the tea, my sister arrived also and what’s better than gathering with friends around a fire !