Desert Adventures

20:00 Alyson Tart 0 Comments

Before 2014, I had been to Dubai something like 5 times in the span of just over a year. It's quickly becoming a global hub, meaning that I had more and more reasons to go there.

Every time I've done a bit of sightseeing around the new, modern, and often times crazy sites like the Burj Khalifa and giant aquariums in malls and hotels.

And every time I've wanted to do the desert safari, but work conflicted with the schedule of getting out there.

So, for my first trip of 2014, I was relieved when Paul said he would tag along (finally!!) and he wanted to go out to the dunes.  Instead of trying the dunebuggies you drive yourself, we went for the cruisers driven by true professionals where we would end up at a camp for some traditional Middle Eastern entertainment.

We were picked up at the hotel by our driver, grabbed a few other passengers and drove 30 minutes out to the desert. We let the air out of the tires and joined the throngs of others along for a ride. Since January was prime time for these safaris, meaning it's not over 100 degrees out, there were probably about 25 cars out doing the same thing as us.

Our driver warned us in advance that people get car sick and pointed out the brightly coloured bags just in case they were needed. That in and of itself made me queasy and I made a quick wish to make it to the camp without requiring the bags. He also said that because of the rain they had that week, we wouldn't be able to go quite as off the grid as usual - apparently the rain means you don't slide as well in the sand. Who knows, too technical for me!

Even without driving quite as extremely it was still an experience. You could perhaps compare it to a roller coaster ride, you get that same feeling as you come up to the crest of a dune, then look down at the steep drop and think - holy cow! (or something not as PG-rated). And while I hate roller coasters, I actually really enjoyed this ride and felt disappointed as we pulled back out onto the main highway to head towards our camp.

We missed the sunset as there were too many clouds in the sky to get the beautiful orange glow across the desert - this was the downside to the cool temperatures, the clouds that came along with it. So, we drowned our sorrows in plates full of Middle Eastern food - I ate enough kofta and hummus to keep me happy for weeks. I tried my hand again at hookah, and while I may have been an old pro during my time in Turkey, it wasn't so successful this time so I left it to Paul and our tablemates to practice the art of blowing smoke.

Then, after some belly dancing, we were back in our van on the main road back to Dubai and all the glamour of the city, with a pit stop for a new tire. Oh well - the dangers of desert safaris!

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