One of the funnest things I’ve ever done!

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.


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.


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.



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..

Filed Under: Travel
  1. “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.

  2. 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.

  3. Is Etihad AUH to HKG, Cathay HKG to SFO and Alaska SFO to SEA a legal routing? If it is, that’s my guess 🙂

  4. 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.


  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. @ 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!

  8. 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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