Monday, 24 June 2013

Safari in the Arabian Desert

Yesterday afternoon, we went on a Desert Safari.  Ten Toyota Land Cruisers - with us in one of them - ventured into the Arabian Desert.  Here, we tore over the sand dunes, spinning the tyres and madly tossing up the sand, seemingly nearly rolling the car again and again.  Up sandy hill and down sandy dale we went, constantly being tossed to the left and then the right.  Every time we came close to one of the other vehicles, its passengers beamed broad smiles at the fun we were all having.  A couple of times, we spotted camels and stopped for photo opportunities.  

Eventually, we arrived at the campsite in the desert in an area called Al Awir.  The campsite consisted of huts arranged in a circle, and in the middle was a large dance floor.  It was like the United Arab Emirates' answer to a Hawaiian luau.  When we arrived, Jean and I had a camel ride.  Later, I went sand boarding, surfing down a sandy hill on a board.  After watching a brief performance by an Arab performer, we ate dinner.  

Tandoori chicken, lamb chops, beef burgers, flat bread, hummus, tabbouleh, salads, potatoes, rice, fried onions, and Dahl - there was plenty of it!  I had absolutely lashings of it. It was piled so high on my plate, I didn't think I'd get through it.  But I polished it all off.  One also had to swallow vast quantities of water here.  It's steaming hot.  Like a sauna.  Sand crept into everything.  It was nice to throw off your footwear, and let your feet kick the sand.  We were all stinking hot, sweating like fountains, covered in sand, but having a marvellous time.

The evening finished with an Arab belly dance, performed by a young woman from Ukraine, of all places.  As I expected, no Arab woman, I was told, would be allowed to dress exposing her lower tummy and arms in such a way, and to perform such a provocative dance.

Below are a couple of pics on our safari.  The safari was with Orient Tours, which is owned by the Royal Family of the Emirate of Dubai.

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