I leave Manama and I head across the desert of Bahrain south on the King Hamad Highway. As I look out across miles and miles of sand one thought keeps occurring in my head, it must be miserable here in the summer.
Even with written instructions I feel lost as the highway seems to go on forever across a desolate land with only a few buildings scattered around. Most of these I am sure have something to do with oil and gas production here.
Eventually, I see the sign I am looking for and make an exit from the highway. I drive for miles along a road with pipe lines laying on both sides of it. At one point as far as the eye can see there is nothing but oil fields and small tent communities that I assume are for the people that work out here.
I know I have gone too far for my planned destination and I proceed to make a U-turn. From a gathering in the distance, I spot what I am looking for. I exit the paved road onto a gravel and sand one as I follow a truck that I think is going where I want to go. However, the road turns to more sand and I start to get a sinking feeling. At one point my car loses traction and I think it is time to do another 180.
Finding a more solid portion of the road I park my car and begin walking. A short distance through a wall construction area and then over a small barbed wire fence I climb a sandy hill to The Tree Of Life.
Somewhat a symbol to the Kingdom Of Bahrain, The Tree Of Life is a 400 year old or so cedar that has managed to survive in one of the harshest environments for plant life. It's source of nutrition and water is somewhat of a mystery.
For the Kingdom, most are proud that like The Tree of Life, Bahrain has been able to survive harsh conditions and remain a sovereign nation in this part of the world. For somewhat a symbol of Bahrain, The Tree of Life has not been kept in the best condition.