Al Wahba Crater Escapade (Part 2)
The group assembled at Al Reihaily gas station in Obhur and left passed 3:30 in the morning. It was a more or less 430-kilometer land travel from Jeddah to Al Wahba crater, but since its discovery by Saudi Tourism, highways and signs had been constructed to lessen travelling time.
We traveled via Thuwal due to availability of gas stations along the way. It was a 6-cars convoy travel. A friend offered a sit for me in his car with his family and since I was used to long travels, a 4-5 hour trip is just a piece-of-cake.
As soon as the sun came out, we took shots. The photo above was taken during one of the many stop-overs that we had.
What is good about this adventure was the road ends exactly at the crater’s edge. Upon reaching it, every one took their weapons, and Filipino photographers conquered the place.
Al Wahba crater is found in Saudi Arabian desert n the western edge of the Hafer Kishb basalt plateau, which has many volcanic cones. It is recorded to be 820 feet deep and 2 kilometer in diameter. The bottom is covered with white sodium phosphate crystals which makes the crater attractive to photographers.
Geologists believed that the crater was formed by volcanic activity in the form of an underground phreatic eruption – a massive steam explosion generated by molten basaltic magma coming into contact with subterranean water. – Source: Wikipedia
Since it is dangerous to climb down the crater (but not to experienced and prepared mountain climbers), we preferred to stay on top and maximized the use of what is available.
The wall of the crater is made of different kinds of rocks. Well, this is not a time to go back to science class, so let me just show you some photos.
Most of the grass, palms and other plants can be found at the northern part of the crater. We are near the southern part so no one dared to go near. According to some bloggers who came first before us, there is only one safe way to climb down, and it will pass through the place where most of the vegetation are located. It is also where visitors who plan to stay overnight build their camp.
In the part 3 of this series, we will go on to some wider shots on what to expect at Al Wahba crater including magical time-lapse photography by our very own Filipino photographers.