An elegant sufficiency

Monday, March 31, 2008

Into the Desert

Mid afternoon, we turned up for our "adventure" early as usual. It bore rewards however, for not only were we assigned seats in the first convoy of vehicles, in car #1 indeed, but we were in the care of Dinar, driver in chief and leader of the pack! There were three convoys of ten vehicles taking different routes but meeting up later for drinks and supper.

We set off down an unassuming motorway, like all areas of Dubai there was some building work going on everywhere we looked. 20km down the road, we took an exit slip road and voila! no road!

First thing to do was to let air out of the tyres - 50%. We all scrambled out to have our first step onto the sand and to marvel at the sights around us.

I could not believe the patterns created by the wind on the soft sand and the shapes and soft curves of the dunes, stretching off as far as the eye could see. This was a magical place.

The fun was just starting however, for no sooner had we set off on the sand, driving surface as slippy as ice, than Dinar gave a little chuckle and whoops! over the dune we shot - WOW!

We slid sideways down some, drove along the side of others at 45 degrees, bounced up and down and giggled like children as we did so. We stopped to look at others in the convoy, watching with amazement as they took the route we had just created, sometimes hovering on the brink of the top of the dune and creating an almightly sand cloud behind them as they slithered down the other side.

We stopped at a camel farm to take pictures but really wanted to play some more - and Dinar was only too happy to oblige!

After another hour (seemed like ten minutes) we met the rest of the convoy for drinks "at the Sunset Bar" - a carpet on the desert - and drank champagne as the sun went down. Absolutely amazing.

But there was one more surprise. Over the dunes, about ten minutes away, a "village" had been set up and as the darkness fell, we left the cars and walked down into a spot lit by oil lamps, with carpets and music playing.

A barbecue had been set up and there was supper on offer, wine to drink and activities to try - camel rides, hubblebubble pipes, dressing up (!) and henna painting.

After supper, the belly dancers came on and put on a fantastic show and surprisingly, unbelievably and thankfully, we didn't get to make fools of ourselves by having to join in!!


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