Dune Bashing

Trip Start Oct 22, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United Arab Emirates  ,
Saturday, July 15, 2006

We were thinking what could we do in Dubai with so much sand around? Let's go dune bashing in a four wheel drive, ride a camel and do some belly dancing! Initially we had planned to do a desert safari in Oman thinking it would be cheaper as it is less touristy than Dubai but unfortunately we were wrong. The tours in Oman were five times the price so we headed back to Dubai a day early and hit the dunes.

A guy picked us up at the hostel in a Toyota Landcruiser. This seems to be the 4X4 of choice in Dubai as when we stopped for petrol, there were about twenty of them from different safari tours all queued up, either getting fuel or re-inflating their tyres. After driving out of town for about 20 minutes we pulled into a back block, passed some building then were greeted by some massive sand dunes. After we stopped to deflate the tyres a bit, the driver floored it and we rocketed up the slope. Driving in a pack of four cars, luckily we were in the front car so we didn't know what the driver was going to do next. One minute we'd be on the flat, the next we'd be sliding sideways down a dune. It was cool fun! There was only one time we couldn't get up a dune and the driver let the car slowly reverse backwards down the dune.

After about 40 minutes of thrashing the Landcruiser we stopped in the middle of nowhere for some sunset photos, then headed to a Bedouin camp. Here we both had a quick ride on a camel (basically a 90 second ride so the tourists could get a photo). Rick's camel was a little snappy and tried to bite him a couple of times, though the handler yelled at it pretty loudly. With our camel experience over we then headed into the camp, got some henna tattoos done and grabbed a seat to have dinner and watch the belly dancing show. Dinner was lovely with all kinds of BBQ'd meat, hommus dips and lovely breads.

When dinner was over the belly dancer came out. As there were little mats on the dance floor everyone moved to them to sit and watch the show. The music started, the belly danced and Rick setup his camera. Ten seconds later Rick looked up to what he thought was going to be a personal belly dance show but was rapidly pulled up on stage and led into the centre of the circle. He was then shown how to dance and had to imitate the dancer in front of everyone. How embarrassing! After what felt like an eternity he was allowed to sit down. Being first on stage was not his idea of fun. After a few more dances and a few more hapless souls being dragged onto the stage, Megan's services were also called upon. Lucky for her it was a group dance with a few other girls. With the music fading out, the belly dancer finished her show and we headed for the car. The drive back trough the dunes at night was great; pitch black outside and only the car's headlights to see what was in front.
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