October 13, 2012

Desert safaris

Yesterday I went on my first desert safari tourist trip. It started with some dune-bashing, which I found absolutely wonderful. The moment when the vehicle is tilted almost to the point of rolling over and there is sand cascading up all the windows on one side is fantastic. Our driver was far more adventurous than the one leading the pack, and at one point threw up his hands in frustration with the lame maneuvering of the leader. I echoed the sentiment. The dune bashing was definitely the highlight of the trip for me.

Then there was a pit stop to see a group of camels, but after riding one in India, I'm over that attraction. Eventually we ended up at the camp. There was a belly dancer, who got upstaged by a little girl who got on stage while her group went into hysterics taking photos. (In fairness, the child was a great dancer.) There was henna, but after getting it up and down my arms in India, I'm over that attraction too. There was shisha, but it was apple flavored, which tastes like black licorice and is generally everyone's least favorite. There was food and I was encouraged to take more by the people working there, which was a very Arab thing for them to do. There was a huge dune, which was a bitch to climb up, but a joy to sled down. (The boards were meant for sandboarding, but I'm a skiier not a boarder, so I used it as a sled.) And there was a random cat, who crept under the table and scared the shit out of me, but cuddled so affectionately that I forgave it.

Generally, I loathe touristy things, but a desert trip is exotic enough that even with the touristy elements it can still keep my attention. I kept marveling at the fact that we were in the middle of the fucking desert. Because in Abu Dhabi, that fact is not always abundantly clear. But sitting on top of a sand dune watching headlights bob up and down other dunes in the distance makes the desertness of this place very, very obvious.

7 comments:

  1. I didn't even know that "dune bashing" was a ... thing. Came back from Tunisia, where I went on a 2-day-trip in the desert which included this too. I thought it was just something fun that our tour did.

    Most interesting part about it was trying to take non-blurry pictures during the ride. My dad was all "why didn't you take any pictures of the car swerving around?!". I was too busy holding on for dear life -.-
    Our driver didn't even have his seat belt on, and kept jumping up and down during the drive.

    It was lots of fun though :D

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  2. That sounds amazing, I would love to visit the desert someday but my body just cannot handle heat that well. It sounds like you had a lot of fun, did you take any nice photos? :)

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    1. I'm not really one for pictures. And like Vera said, the picture taking is difficult when you're bouncing around in the back of a vehicle. But my friends took some nice ones that I admire on FB, haha.

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  3. That sounds like a fun trip! I wasn't totally sure what dune bashing was, so I had to look it up, haha. It looks awesome though. I would love to try that some time :) I typically don't like touristy things either, but they can be really fun when they're done well.

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  4. I had no idea you could do a safari in a desert! I'm definitely adding it to my (very long) travel to-do list.

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    1. Ok, maybe safari is the wrong term since there aren't really animals per se, beyond the trained camels and the random stray cat... There was also a beetle... It's just called safari?

      But you should add it anyways. And get started on that list!

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