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Hajj – 12th Dhul Hajj: 3rd day of Stoning of the Jamarat

November 30, 2009

Short post today.

We woke up for Tahajjud, and performed a Tawaf between this and Fajr prayers. It wasn’t crowded at all, and we were able to finish in 30 minutes! Previously, a Tawaf in the same general area had taken us more than 1.5 hours!

In the early afternoon, we headed to Mina for the 3rd day of the Stoning of the Devils. We found a taxi area near the Haram complex; he agreed to take us to Mina for 100SR. What followed was the most ridiculous taxi ride I have ever been in. To his credit, the Saudi government had blocked some roads to Mina, and were instructing people to take a detour, in order to lessen the congestion which had crippled transportation. However, this taxi driver had no clue where to go, and kept driving over the same roads over and over and over again. We were getting not only impatient but worried, because there is a rule that if you are in Mina after a certain time period, you essentially have to spend the night here and are not allowed to go back to Makkah.

Eventually, we saw signs for the Jamarat, but the taxi driver STILL didn’t try to follow them, insisting that he knew the way. We forced him to follow the signs. Near the end of our trip after 2 hours, he ended up getting a flat tire. We got dropped off at a certain point, and as we looked around, felt a small sense of doom, for we were now in Muzdalifah, close to where we had slept several nights earlier, and had to walk for about 1.5 hours to Mina. Since we had no choice, we trekked over to the Jamarat complex, and after 1.5 hours, arrived, Stoned the Devils, and headed out to return to Makkah.

We found another pseudo-cabbie for 50SR each, and waited for the van to fill up with other customers, but after about 10 minutes nobody came, so thankfully the driver started driving. It was now unbelievably crowded on the roads. We would move a few meters, then stop for 5 minutes, then move a few meters, then stop for another 5 minutes, and this continued for quite a long time. I ended up taking a nap for a little while. After a few hours of this stooooooooooooooooopppppppppppp and go and stoooooooooooooooooooopppppppppppppppppp and go traffic, we decided we should just walk… lots of walking today.

We walked, and we walked, and we walked, I can’t even remember for how long… perhaps 2 hours? My feet were blistering, and hurting. Eventually, we reached the Haram, which was as crowded with people as the streets were with cars.

I don’t really have a photo for today, but I’ll show you one taken earlier of Maryam’s totally worn out Floatie sandals, in keeping with today’s theme of walking to exhaustion:

Hajj102

We did the customary prayers at the Haram, had dinner, then went to bed.

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