One of the funnest things I’ve ever done!

One of the funnest things I’ve ever done!

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I’ve spent the past couple of days in the desert, and there were two things I was looking forward to most – camel riding and dune bashing. I got to do both of them in a single day, with a sunrise camel ride and sunset dune bashing, which makes for just about the best day ever.

The two experiences couldn’t have been more different, though. For the camel ride the guide showed up 20 minutes late (which I usually wouldn’t mind, but this was for a 6AM camel ride, and trust me, it wasn’t easy for me to get up either!). He didn’t apologize and didn’t voluntarily say a word the whole time (though he did smoke). During the brief “pit stop” I talked to him for a couple of minutes, and as it turned out it was his last week at the resort, and he really didn’t like it, to put it mildly. See my previous post on why the UAE is so depressing.


Camels


Sunrise from camel trek

Still, camels are pretty darn cute, even if they enjoy spitting at people.


Me enjoying the sand

Then I did dune bashing in the afternoon. I don’t even know how to describe it, short of saying that it was one of the coolest thing I’ve ever done. Our guide had been “driving” for about 17 years, and really loved what he was doing. He was from Pakistan, and the first “immigrant worker” I’ve met in the UAE that actually… likes living here!

But seriously, dune bashing was unbelievable. The driver deflated the tires to 15psi once we got into the desert, and from there it was like a roller coaster.


Car

I wish I could have taken pictures that captured some of the stuff we did, but I was busy screaming and doing my best not to soil myself. We drove straight up 100-meter dunes, and then straight down them. We “slid” down the side of dunes with nothing but the sand holding us back.

And the views at sunset were equally good.


Sunset


Sunset

It. Was. Awesome.

And the desert really is a fascinating, fascinating place. It’s almost like being on Mars. So if you do go to the UAE, be sure to go beyond Abu Dhabi and Dubai and visit the desert as well. You won’t regret it.

In the meantime, it’s back home for me. I’ll be flying out of Abu Dhabi and will get two sets of pajamas on my trip. Anyone want to guess the airlines/routing?

Speaking of which, I probably should book my trip home to Florida for Christmas in the next couple of days..

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  1. Lee Guest

    It's more interesting to go 4W Desert camping and being invited for tea by a Bedouin in his tent. Also try to see a Camel race if possible. It's a riot!

  2. AK Member

    AUH-JFK on EY, JFK-YVR on CX, drive down to SEA to get to FL?

  3. lucky OMAAT

    @ Jonathan -- Hadn't seriously considered it, though I'll give it some thought. Might be nice to add another dimension to reporting. :)

    @ palladia -- It was done directly through the Qasr Al Sarab resort.

    @ john -- Each was ~$90USD.

    @ Jim in PHL @ duer -- LOL!

  4. duer Guest

    Man, that camel's nose looks like something familiar, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

  5. Jim in PHL Guest

    So did the guy for your early morning tour smoke Camels? Haha

  6. palladia Guest

    Could you provide link to your dune bashing company?

  7. Lively Guest

    Dune bashing sounded great! I did the camel ride thang in Bethlehem and I thought they were gross.

  8. TheBeerHunter Member

    Camels STINK

  9. MilesAbound Guest

    Yeah I did the dune ride a few years ago at Al Maha resort just outside Dubai. Awesome experience. I think I will go with Etihad AUH-LHR and BA LHR-SEA too

  10. Nancy Guest

    You're right about the camel.....very cute!!

  11. Shawn Guest

    I also thoroughly enjoyed dune bashing while in Dubai a few yrs ago. One word of advice for other considering this, try to snag "shotgun" in the passenger seat. Not only are the views better, but I'd think being in the third row or a Toyota Land Crusier could lend itself to some motion sickness.

  12. ZFW-ATC Guest

    Hate to be the grammar police here, but there is no such word as "funnest". The proper expression is "most fun". Otherwise, nice photos and great reporting! Maybe a trip to the desert might be interesting.

    Eric

  13. mangoceviche Member

    Is Etihad AUH to HKG, Cathay HKG to SFO and Alaska SFO to SEA a legal routing? If it is, that's my guess :)

  14. Jonathan Guest

    Hey Lucky,

    I enjoy your trip reports and the awesome pictures. Have you thought about doing some YouTube videos? I think it will add a new dimension to your trip report by including some great videos.

  15. puck Member

    "Speaking of which, I probably should book my trip home to Florida for Christmas." Ben, Your home is now Seattle! Your parents home is Florida. Safe travels and Happy Holidays.

  16. sg Guest

    Etihad from Abu Dhabi to London
    BA from London to Seattle

  17. Alex Member

    I know your on EY, maybe to London or EU gateway and then onwards with AA?

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Lee Guest

It's more interesting to go 4W Desert camping and being invited for tea by a Bedouin in his tent. Also try to see a Camel race if possible. It's a riot!

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AK Member

AUH-JFK on EY, JFK-YVR on CX, drive down to SEA to get to FL?

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lucky OMAAT

@ Jonathan -- Hadn't seriously considered it, though I'll give it some thought. Might be nice to add another dimension to reporting. :) @ palladia -- It was done directly through the Qasr Al Sarab resort. @ john -- Each was ~$90USD. @ Jim in PHL @ duer -- LOL!

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