Arab hospitality is tremendous, but I found that it could also be an impediment to moving around the Empty Quarter quickly. In fact, sometimes we would try to avoid government-organized Arab settlements entirely so we could keep going. If we stopped, we'd have to stay for half a day while they killed a whole goat, cooked it, and then served it up on a bed of rice. We were also traveling with quite a large group in four different cars, and often we were accompanied by a two-car military escort. So showing up at someone's door with 20 people also felt like it would be an imposition, considering all the hospitality sure to follow.