Posted by: Leap of Faith | May 19, 2007

Hawar Island, Part 2


Before you proceed, please read my previous post Hawar Island first. Duh? If you notice my entry title says Part 2!

I trust that pee-pee is over and that you are ready to read more of Hawar.

After that gruelling dinner (food was good but the entertainment was not), we decided to walk around. The resort looked much nicer at night. The mood lights highlighted the building and the beautiful Arabic-style terraces of the rooms. The swimming pool also looked pretty with the lights on. The ambience was more resort like now… especially with the cool sea breeze. We decided to bring-out the bottle of Hypnotiq (i.e. 17% alcohol content), which my friends bought from the local duty free. While drinking by the shore, we swapped legit OFW stories (i.e. about our life far away from family and those kinda stuff). I know you are eager to know more about what we talked about but I will just keep you hanging… di naman kasi kayo OFW no?! We ended the night at around 1:30 in order to prepare for the much awaited island tour the next morning.

I was hesitating on whether I wanted to wake up or not. I was so sure that most of my officemates would be fast as sleep due to their long night of clean fun (i.e. story telling) and shisha (local cigar using water pipes and special flavouring). I was wrong. Everyone was excited to take the island tour.

After breakfast, we boarded the coaster and started our one hour journey. Yihee! By the way, this island was previously under a territorial dispute between the Kingdom of Bahrain and Qatar hence the presence of some military facilities on the western side of the island. This portion was closed to the public for obvious reasons.

A few hundred meters from the perimeter of the hotel, we drove off the main highway and hit a dirt road. Nothing still exciting though… still a desert. We later reached a small area where 10-15 Arabian Oryxes were lazily sleeping under a tent. The tour guided said… Hawar is a wildlife reserve area where Oryxes, lizards, birds ,etc live. My thought bubble was… What! A wildlife Reserve!!! Where?! I don\’t see the animals. The tour guide later told us that that the big yellow lizards normally come out during the day when the weather is cooler. I thought, so wise! I should have just slept in my room instead of going on this island tour – it\’s definitely much cooler there! So did we see other animals? What do you think?

Still hopeful that things will be better, we continued on our tour. Mind you – the landscape is still the same – flat, sandy and dry. The tour guide stopped the van where he showed us the wider road (of the same highway). Apparently this was suppose to be a make shift airstrip where the F15 jet planes could land when necessary – this was never used, though. To be honest, it really did not look like anything to me. Just a wider section of a road in a flat, sandy and dry area.

We later drove past a section with some some rocks and pebbles on the ground. It looked like a small area where children would normally play and put small rocks to represent buildings, houses, etc except that this was actually a three-hundred year old cemetery of the early settlers of the island (the Al-Dossary family). The rocks were actually markers and gravestones but if you look at them you would immediately think … hmmm, joke ba to? We later drove to the ruins of the village where these people once lived. There was a small white mosque sorrounded by a few rubbles which made it look like an abandoned construction site or a war torn area featured on a telecast of CNN. Another joke, I thought.

Other areas that we saw included the King\’s residence (exterior only), employee housing, power and water plants, etc. Yes, talagang exciting! Grrrrrr!

In order to save what was left of our day, we decided to take a swim in the beach where the water was perfectly calm. The cool water provided a soothing feeling against the extreme heat of this middle eastern island. What a life!

I was starting to have fun when somebody shouted that there was jellyfish a few inches away from my back! I wanted to shriek in fear of being stung by this sea creature but instead I remained calm. Diyahe naman, since cool dude ako! Instead I slowly swam away from that cute looking pest! Nothing was the same after that experience. I was so paranoid that there would be more of them. I was right. I later found another jellyfish in my new chosen area and that was the last straw that broke the camel\’s back. I had enough of the beach! I was off to the pool where I was safe in the warm urine and chlorine filled water.

By noon, we had had another yummy buffet lunch and we started to pack our things after that. My Pinoy colleagues and I topped the day with a bottle of Asti Spumati, which we had to finish since we couldn\’t bring it back to the KSA (pathetic!). It made me a bit woozy but that feeling quickly diasppeared when we boarded the speed boat back to Manama island.

The whole trip was really something that broke the monotony of what could be a boring life here in Saudi Arabia. Although there were portions of the whole event that was quite disappointing, to say the least, the whole experience was something I would fondly remember. I am still convincing myself though whether the SR800 (PHP10K) overnight experience is something worth reliving again with my whole family. I guess you guys will just have to wait and see.

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Responses

  1. The jellyfish bit was soooo funny! 😀 Any closer encounter with the jellyfish would have altered your day in a major way! Cool dude pala ha! Even if there were disappointing moment during your outing, I think you may be thinking ok na rin, kasi you escape from your “weekend warrior” duties. 😉

  2. Weng, yes it was nice to be temporarily relieved of my warrior duties.

  3. Ok I know you’ve written this years ago, but I was searching for good reviews about Hawar Island. I’m currently in Bahrain and our Company is holding our outing at Hawar Island. Was it that really bad? I’m quite a traveler when I was in the Philippines (Palawan, Boracay, Caramoan, Pangasinan, etc) so will I be disappointed to? The pictures on the internet were pretty decent for me. I heard there are lots of activities there (jetskii, atv, etc.).


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