All posts by domagoj

Rub’ al Khali, Saudi Arabia

Back in the deserts of Saudi Arabia.
This time a new desert. Rub’ al Khali, the empty quarter. Did a short research before I started my travel here. The largest contiguous sand desert in the world, and I ended up in the middle of it. Shaybah oil field.

Started the trip June 9th 2017. 6:00 AM, on a Saudi Aramco 737 flight from Dammam to Shaybah Aramco airport.

First moment I stepped out of the plane and turned around to see what’s around me, my jaw dropped. The biggest red sand dunes I have ever seen. And I’ve seen quite a lot of them. Would take photos but the security guard was not so happy about that idea.

I was not so happy to see a crew minibus waiting for me as I knew it will be a long drive to location.

Let me try to set the mood for you. Driving four hours going over these huge sand dunes on a dusty desert road, up and down, the driver is an Arab Muslim, it’s the month of Ramadan so he is not eating or drinking water during daylight hours, and it’s 45 degrees Celsius outside. Must I say he was tired and I thought we were going to end up driving of a “cliff/sand dune” into a big problem.

I refuse to drink water also, not to offend his customs. The amazing view through the window keeps my mind amused.

When you zoom in to  exact location on Google maps, you get this:

With every picture I take I get the familiar feeling that you can’t capture the emotion and the actual scenery with a camera.

On June 11 worked for almost 24 hours without stopping to get the site up and running. It was a hellish day I will not forget so soon. Thank you Allen Bradley and your 1756-DNB device net module.

Following day after dinner, night before I get of the rig, I look at the 150 meter dune next to the rig and think: “It’s now or never Dom. If you don’t do it now, you don’t get a second chance any time soon.”

I start the climb with outside temperature at above 40 degrees Celsius, in my coveralls and steel toe boots. It took me about 30 minutes to climb to the top, and about half way up there I regretted not taking any water.

At one point I looked to the top and thought, “F… it, I’m not going to make it, must turn back.” Then I changed my mind and started climbing again to find out I’m two meters from the top. That would be funny and sad if I had given up so close.

Must I say that the view from the top of that dune was spectacular.

I’m putting up a few photos to mark the occasion.

This post was written in June 2017, but published in August 2018, when I felt it was time to start writing and posting my memoirs again. Alzheimer has nothing on me.

Lone star state, Texas

Hello again,

Writing this from my suite in Houston. Came back here for another training session on April 9th, on a Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt. 10 hour flight was uneventful, other than a bunch of Germans that got drunk in seats in front of me, so they kind of stank of booze. Well, what can you do, at least after a few hours glass of clinking and cheering they gave up and went to sleep 🙂

Training was interesting as it is every time, but this time I have a good friend with me so we’re having a good time over here. One of the off days (Apr 15th 2017.) we decided to travel 300 something miles up north to Dallas to see the Gas Monkey garage and their bar n grill.

Well it was a pretty uneventful ride up there with lots of green pastures and landscapes. White picket fences, horse and cow farms. A big statue of Sam Houston. Sam Houston led Texas to victory and independence of Texas from Mexico and he also led Texas into the US as a constituent state.

Some funny cars you encounter on the road

Some funny stuff you see in the shops(check out the price).

Dallas looks a bit smaller than Houston (personal observation), but it had some interesting views. I’ll just throw in a few photos from the trip. Ignore the guy in the photos, as I love taking selfies. 😛

Photos below are from the bar n grill. Good burger, but the decoration of the place is brilliant.

We saw the owner of the garage Richard Rawlings, but for a few seconds before he buzzed off.

Went back to Houston the same day.

Today(April 17th 2017.) I had a day off again, so I planned to go visit the state capitol, Austin and also Jacobs well place that jumped out on my Facebook the other day and I got interested.

My buddy had training, so I buzzed toward Austin myself. Early morning 8 o’clock 😀 sat in my Chevy Impala and started my trip west on the 290.

I must say, the drive on the 290 from Houston to Austin was much more interesting than the one to Dallas.

A lot of interesting towns and landscapes to see. My favorite was town called Giddins where I felt the need to click of a couple of photos below.

I passed right through Austin and continued to Jacobs well, which is about an hour out of Austin.

(I took the gray route back (Not the airplane route)).

The well is an interesting place, so is its history. I didn’t go for a swim as I forgot to take my swimming shorts and there were people there 😀

After Jacobs well, went back to Austin to check out downtown as I heard it was something to be seen.

The rain storm was growing stronger but I was dedicated to see as much as I could. Parked the car somewhere on 4th street and Congress Ave.

Parked right here 🙂

And walked rest of the way. Stopped at the Starbucks cafe to get some coffee and internet and continued walking toward the State Capitol building.

Statue of Angelina Eberly.

And here starts the State Capitol building and surroundings. I put photos of statue description plates as they are an interesting read.

Inside of the State Capitol building is quite impressive. Paintings of all state governors are on the walls. And as I heard from one of the tour guides inside, George W Bush is the only Texas governor that became president of USA. How about that.

Anyway, as the weather started to get worse, I decided to head back towards Houston. My plan was to spend the night in some motel half way towards Houston.

As I was driving and got to like an hour and a half to Houston where I was planing to spend the night I figured I could make it back without problems so pushed forward and made it back to Houston same day. I was driving down the I10 east, and the rain storm was in full power, so I couldn’t see anything around me. All of the sudden I saw the Katy water tower and knew I was close. Katy Mills mall is my favorite shopping place in Houston :).

Anyway, good night, I deserve some rest from all this driving today.