On our first day, we had explored the city of Abu Dhabi, organized and businesslike, with walkways, beachfronts and giant glass structures. Today, we decided to visit the desert.
This was my first time visiting the desert. I had seen pictures while reading Tintin comics and watched countless movies where the hero trudged through the dunes, sweat trickling down his face.
We were goingon a desert safari. It sounded pretty exciting- as did the news that an old childhood friend of mine would be joining us. The plan was simple, to bash into dunes, sandboard down the slopes, dine by the campfire and relax under the stars.
We kicked of the tour and were promptly introduced to some camels who were sunbathing idly. They deigned to look down at us (did I mention that I’m only four feet nine?) and allowed us to pet them. The driver then told us it was time to leave and we got into the safari jeep. All the kids, including me, fought to sit at the back, seats for the very bravest.
Looking back, I kind of wished I had taken the front.
The sensation was amazing at first. We picked up speed and flew over the ground. We would descend to take a hairpin turn. We left wavy lines etched into the sand and did loop de loops. At some points I almost felt like we were driving perpendicular- up and then down.
We stopped to explore the dunes. Vast endless sand expanses- tempting us to start climbing, rolling or running down. Soft enough to lie on with a grandeur ideal for Instagram pictures. I did everything possible. I raced down and hiked up. I tumbled, and lolled, though I was too busy to take pictures. Soon, the driver told us to leave. From this point- the ride went downhill.
The dune bashing had become awfully sickening all of a sudden. I held on tightly, as we bounced over the same landscape. My head was reeling. Thankfully, a speck that crossed our path soon became the camp that we would spend the evening.
The camp was a welcome oasis. It was tucked between two sand dunes, ideal for sandboarding. My friend and I attacked the slopes, which was really fun. We hiked up the sands, sweat glistening down as we dragged the boards up. We cruised down the slope, sometimes hitting the sand, sometimes managing to make it and boarding like bosses. As the sun set, we settled to chucking sand into each other’s eyes in an attempt to make fireworks. This proved to be rather dangerous so we gathered round the campfire to eat and chat. The stars twinkled above.
It’s a trip worth making- one that I guess I’d do again at any time. Just keep in mind to pack barf bags before you leave.
Top: Hiking the dunes Down: Reaching camels