11 Stages in and It’s Still Anybody’s Race
The road from Neom to AlUla led away from the sea into the vast network of pointed and crumbling mountains. Unpaved in several spots, the path forced caravans to slow way down, soak up the surroundings and understand better this place they unwittingly explored all of Hump Day. The terra firma in Saudi Arabia has evolved so often, albeit subtly, since we first set off on this adventure, the option of planets to compare to is running thin, so it’s necessary to resort to fiction. A scene you’d expect from the set of The Martian. As if an incredible sandstorm blew into the region and devastated everything around it, leaving only heaping piles of beachy granules, everywhere, submerging all that might have once been vibrant, colorful and full of life underneath it. This isn’t abnormal. In recent years, remote sensing technology, including satellite imaging and drone flights, have revealed traces of large settlements in...