The following weekend after our Morning walk to Prince Khalifa bin Salman Park, I woke up, made coffee and declared:
This is the day to finally meet the Tree of Life!
Buboy and my brother Yano used to tease me being the one who’s been living in Bahrain the longest among us and has yet to see the Tree of Life.
Hindi ka raw totoong residente ng Bahrain if you haven’t been there. Awts. Sori naman… T_T
Well, through the years I did attempt several times to see it but each time, unfortunately failed (i.e. Sometime in 2007, we were all merrily on our way then the car suddenly jerked and almost broke down somewhere in the middle of Sitra, so we turned around to go back to Manama ASAP, haist. Other subsequent trip attempts were either postponed “until further notice” due to too much hung over / too much sleepy weekends… Andaming dahilan! Toinks.)
This time, I have my reason. Birthday ko at hindi pwedeng tumanggi! Har har har.
And maybe it’s true – spontaneous trips materialize more often than overly-planned ones, :p
So we just stuffed our backpacks and jumped on Ameer’s car, yalla!
In no time we were on our way through Sitra…
After Sitra area, went through Isa Town – Riffa area until Sakhir…
This area leads to the oilfields managed by BAPCO, BANAGAS, Tatweer Petroleum, et al… Wala ng kabahayan nor commercial buildings…
By the way, we passed by numerous camp sites scattered around the area (sa gitna ng disyerto, malapit sa oilfields, et al). But we didn’t actually see anyone outside the tents / around the camping grounds (i.e. gising, nagluluto, et al)
I was thinking it was either the camps were deserted, or da pipols still sleeping inside? Pero halos tanghali na ah…
Hindi ko talaga kabisado ang camping ground rules dine sa Sakhir so I scrapped the idea of night camping there. Saka na lang if we’re in a larger group. Ang boring naming dalawa lang kami ni Buboy mag bonfire, toinks!
After BANAGAS, we got excited catching a glimpse of Jebel Ad Dukhan. It wasn’t in our itinerary, but Ameer said it was on our way anyway. 🙂
Jebel Ad Dukhan (aka Mountain of Smoke) is a hill/mountain in the Sakhir area and at 134m (440 ft), is the highest point in the whole country. It’s called such – Mountain of Smoke – due the haze around it during humid conditions.
And just a few meters away is the Dar An Naft – Oil Museum, where we made a brief stop over. (Will do a separate post) 🙂
After our visit to the museum, we were back on the road for our main destination… 🙂
Can’t help but take pictures of the views along the way. Way different of what we see in Manama or even in Hidd Industrial Area.
After a few kilometers, tada! We’re here!
The Tree of Life (Shajarat-al-Hayat) is approximately 400 year-old, 32 feet or 9.75 m high Prosopis cineraria tree located 1.2 miles or 2 kilometers from Jebel Ad Dukhan. The tree stands on top of a 25-foot or 7.6-m high sandy hill.
The tree is a local tourist attraction, as it is the only major tree growing in the area. The tree is visited by approximately 50,000 tourists every year and the tree often is damaged by graffiti carvings. It is also believed to be the site for cults practising ancient rites. (Source: Wikipedia)
Buboy has been here a few years back and he pointed out that were some changes at the site. Currently, there was ongoing construction of a fence surrounding the area, which we found good to protect the Tree from animals, vandals, arsonists, et al. Also, two security guys were there on duty (yes, yung nasa photo), which was also good, to regulate visiting tourists lah. 🙂
I was so happy!
Call me shallow but I don’t care. :p
Having my ice cream while looking appreciatively at the Tree of Life, I recall the years of my stay in the island and whisper my humble gratitude for all the blessings since I started working in Bahrain. There had been many trials and hardships along the way, but like the Tree of Life during extreme weather, I stood firm and never gave up. I am still here just like you, we’re both strong lah! 🙂
Meeting the Tree of Life is a milestone in my life. As I enter my 7th year in the island, the Tree shall continue to be an inspiration and reminder of strength, courage and faith. Shukran jazilan…
It’s good we were there a bit early, we had the Tree to ourselves hehe.
After a while a tourist bus came (from the cruises with stops in Bahrain),
The tourists got off the bus and headed to the Tree for a closer look and take photos while we got on our car for our next destination: Al Dar Islands! 🙂