National Geographic : 1966 Jan
the drilling. The Saudi Government had sunk wells and started a small experimental farm. Eventually it plans to settle a thousand Be douin families on five-acre plots. Had the emir and his people ever been tempted to settle down, I asked. "Trade the whole world for a garden? Never!" he answered adamantly. "And what would happen to our camels? They give us the milk of life and hair for our rugs. They carry us and our burdens without complaint. They are our freedom." Next morning we headed south over the sands. With Lynn and Jabr beside me, I led in the Land-Rover. The two vehicles bobbed over the dunes like small rafts on an ocean. By noon the Land-Rover was a crucible. Now not even a shadow broke the monotony of the blinding landscape. Suddenly I hit the brakes. Just in time, I had stopped short of a sharp crest of sand. Another ten feet would have plunged us head long down the steep 60-foot leeward side of the dune!