The 17-hour beer run
One bus left at 7:00am and would just turn around. Another left at 9:00 and would go into Bahrain for about five hours and then leave again at 5:00pm. A bunch of other guys who needed to renew their visas had to stay the night, so they left at 11:00am.
I joined the second bus. I figured it might be fun to check out some more of Bahrain. I won’t be joining that bus again.
We left shortly after 9:00 because some of the guys showed up late. It took us two hours or so to make it to the border. From there, it took another hour to get through all the checkpoints.
On the other side, the bus driver realized he didn’t have some of the paperwork he needed. Evidently, someone forgot to provide the proper documentation for the bus. It could get through the border but not actually go into Bahrain with us.
We ended up having to wait three hours until the bus with the 11:00am guys made it through the border, and we got a ride with them.
Once we got into Bahrain, we hailed a taxi and headed to JJ’s, a local Irish pub. The original plan was to head to the mall, but by the time we got their, everyone just wanted to get a beer and chill.
Three hours later, after some food and drinks and fun all around, we headed back toward Saudi. Martin wanted to take bets on something else getting messed up.
When our bus got back to the border, we realized the other bus that brought us into Bahrain had turned around and waited for us on the Saudi side for some reason instead of waiting for us on the Bahraini side. The way the border crossing works, we weren’t allowed to cross with the bus from Bahrain because that bus was tied to the 11 o’clock guys – only those guys could go back on that bus.
So we waited again, for hours, while our coordinators called the bus company to try to sort the situation. Eventually, the guys got fed up with the bus company lying to us, so we were about to just strike out on our own.
Right about then, one of our drivers from Saudi showed up with a taxi. We split into two groups, took two cars across since we’re not allowed to cross on foot, and got to the bus that was waiting for us over there (we’re still not sure why it changed to that side).
So yeah, it was a 17-hour beer run, but the beer part only lasted three of those hours. We left at 9:00am, and didn’t get back until 2:00am the next morning.