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Exploring the Al Heet Cave

There are some things that happen in life when you least expect them.

Just last week, our laptop fell accidentally and the result was something that taught me a lesson on file back ups: all the files and the pictures that I've saved in the hard drive were damaged. Most of the pictures were from my DSLR and most were trips to places here in Riyadh. Sigh. Next time, I would be mindful of the pictures I've taken and save them in my Dropbox account.

It's a good thing that I went to those places with friends. They're friends who like to photograph a lot, too. I've also some friends who've gone to those places either ahead of us or after we've informed them about the beauty of those sites. And the friends they brought with them like taking pictures, too! So although I lost most of my precious photos, I've some friends who lent me theirs to post here. The benefits of having friends, huh?

Just before winter came last year, we decided to explore Ain Al Heet Cave. Although Fred was the first to know about this cave, we were the last to explore it because Fred has work on Saturdays. It was in Al Kharj, near Industrial City 2 where he works.

We went there on a fine, beautiful Saturday morning. I didn't intend to go down as I've heard from friends that the descent is a little dangerous, especially for women. For the record, I've explored only one cave in my life! That was when I spent a short vacation in Sta. Cruz, Marinduque and my college friend asked me to just "stroll along the country side". Being born and raised in the city, I didn't know that the countryside meant mountains and a cave!

Sunday and Gabby only reached this point (the mouth). I asked them to stay behind.

A female friend and I were having second thoughts if we would go down or not. But on the way to the mouth of the cave, we met two men and a woman looking exhausted and a little shivery. Upon knowing from them that the woman went down and even swam in the cave pool, we then knew that we can make it.

But it wasn't a walk in the park. It was a sweat-inducing and a little dangerous activity. Dangerous because I slipped and fell while we were only halfway through the cave. I will never forget the sight of those big rocks waiting to crush (err, catch) me when I was falling. It still haunts me. Until now, I am still thanking God for the big rock that He placed on the path to block my fall to the bottom.

It was my fault why that happened. I didn't listen to Fred when he told me to look for steady, flat rocks. And what made it more exhausting and dangerous is our restricted movement because we didn't take off our abaya for fear of being reprimanded (by Saudi locals) for not wearing it.

No one was swimming when we reached the cave pool. But we knew another batch was on its way when we heard voices from above. The water isn't clear and garbage was either lying on the rocks or tucked on their crevices. I wish people would protect this beautiful place.

The ascent to the opening of the cave was more difficult. It took a lot of arm and leg flexes to reach for steady rocks I can grasp firmly. That was then I realized that I am so unfit!

Would I go down the Ain Al Heet cave again? Tempting, but no thanks. Would I advise any woman to do it? Yes! Just be extra careful and take off your abaya!

View Larger Map

Al Heet Cave Google Map Coordinates: 24.485822, 46.997108

P.S. Special thanks to friends Rachel, Chito, Chad, and Chan for their photos.


Sonyboy Fugaban said…
Oh, and this too. Times like this really make wanna buy a car. But it's just a wishful thinking at this point.

Been tapping a lot of people in my circle to get me there but couldn't no one.

Beth said…
It's better to go there during winter months, Sonyboy. I'm not sure when we would go there again but when we would, I will inform you through our friend John. :)
Sony Fugaba said…
At this point, I still can't get no one to drag me to this place.

Anyway, my apologies, Beth, for not getting back to you on that September 25 event.

Regards to your beautiful family.

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