It looked like our visit to Kuwait (country number 6 out of 8 on our Arabia Overland trip) might not happen. Just a few days before we were scheduled to arrive, Kuwait suddenly announced that despite recent negative covid test results and vaccination status, all visitors arriving after midnight on Christmas Day had to go through a mandatory 10 day quarantine. So what should have been a leisurely border crossing out of Bahrain and into Saudi Arabia with an overnight bush camp en route to Kuwait turned into a mad dash as we tried our best to make it through 4 border control points in 1 day. This put a huge strain on not only our driver Will but also the truck. Alas, we made it to the Saudi-Kuwait border when the truck shuddered to a stop and refused to start again. It was almost 9 pm and we only had 3 hours to clear the Kuwait border control! Unfortunately, none of us were allowed to travel through no man’s land on foot (the strip of land between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait). So Karen advised us all to try to hitchhike with random strangers to see if we could at least enter Kuwait before the midnight deadline. Kuwaiti hospitality came to the rescue as drivers happily stopped and agreed to transport us across no man’s land, clear the health department’s covid test section and wait for us to get stamped into country at immigration control. Once in Kuwait, we were able to hitch a ride for the final 90 minute drive from the border into Kuwait City where our hotel was located. Our driver wasn’t even going to the city but he made a 60 km detour just to drop us off. The kicker was he didn’t want any money for doing this huge favor for us…he just did it to welcome us to Kuwait! What unbelievable kindness and it really made an impression on us. We had two free days to explore Kuwait and spent the first day on a walking tour of the city. The Kuwait Towers were our first stop, followed by the fish market near Souq Sharq. From the market area, we walked over to the Grand Mosque of Kuwait where we took a free tour. Then we walked over to Mubarakiya Souq, which is one of the oldest souqs in Kuwait. There we met a wonderful Kuwaiti man, Thunayan, who offered to be our local tour guide to show us around the souq. We were stunned that he spent several hours of his busy day to show us around and he even treated all of us to an incredibly tasty meal in the market afterwards. Kuwait wins hands down for the most incredible hospitality! On our second full day, we had to take PCR tests first thing in the morning. Then we visited the Mirror House, which is the creation of an Italian-Kuwaiti artist who became obsessed with covering nearly every space of her home with mirror mosaics, using up to 70 tons of mirrors in the process! Even though we only had 2 days to explore Kuwait, this tiny nation certainly impressed and we were glad that Madventure included it on the tour. Next up will be our final re-entry into Saudi Arabia for a few days before we enter Jordan.
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