We've made it to Al Ain - and a rest for the EZ

Trip Start Sep 11, 2010
Trip End Sep 11, 2011

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Flag of United Arab Emirates  ,
Tuesday, September 21, 2010

September 21 2010. As the heat of the day started to kick in almost as soon as the sun rose, we wanted an early departure for Al Ain. However, there were so many interested people from the handling company wanting to have their photos taken with the 'plane that best laid plans etc…

Anyway managed to get away by 9.20 am local for our final flight of this leg of the journey.  We touched the tip of Qatar, and then over the sea to Abu Dhabi.  En route we passed a couple of little islands and many oil rigs and platforms in the Gulf. Again hazy, although we did manage to catch a glimpse of the Corniche of Abu Dhabi – not much after that but desert all the way to Al Ain.

Again, a little bumpy on the descent due to the heat – only 35deg this time!  On the ground after a flight of just over 2hrs, and marshalled to a stand just away from the main terminal. Patrick didn't think that this was the right spot to leave our EZ for 10 days (while we do a quick trip back to the UK) so enquired to ATC if any shade was available.  The suggestion to try Horizon Flight School was made and when we contacted them over the radio they sounded quite optimistic that something could be found.  Taxied to where they were and shut down by the flight school aircraft. Instant arrival deputation of interested pilots and engineers.  They were just putting their aircraft away for the day in their beautiful air-conditioned hangar having completed their flying.  Some lengthy negotiations followed and just when we thought that we might get a space alongside a turbine-engined Grumman Goose, we were told that as they knew nothing about us, we were too much of a security risk!.  However, the Security man Mr Ahmed, then appeared on the scene and was quite interested; also the fact that he had studied at Crawley College, West Sussex, and knew of Reigate, seemed to help our cause. "What did we want to do?" he asked. "Put the aircraft in the hangar", was our reply.  The upshot is that the’ plane is in the hangar for the next 10 days! Patrick is mightily relieved as he didn’t want the fine paint job baked to a crisp. Of course, this does come at a price, but got to be worth it, though..

Formalities were sorted very quickly in the Terminal for our immigration and we were soon on our way (at very high speed) to our hotel.  We were able to have a relaxing rest of the day and are looking forward to our short stay back in the UK as from 23 September.

September 22 2010.  Spent a relaxing morning, catching up on the blog and various emails.  Check out was at mid-day, so stored our bags and walked into the Town, although not a particularly good time to do this 'Mad dogs and Englishmen…etc’.   We had decided to catch the bus to Abu Dhabi airport in the evening for our flight home (02.10 am ugh!) so found the bus station and sorted out an appropriate time to catch a bus.  Across the road was the local souq – apart from being under cover and therefore in the shade, there was an array of stalls with all sorts of produce: spices, dates, fruit, fish (fresh and dried), meats ….  a real hustle and bustle place.  We managed to walk quite a distance before succumbing to a nice cool interior of a café, then a taxi back to the hotel.  It was soon time to collect our bags and a quick taxi ride back to the bus station and on to the waiting bus.  The journey would take about 2hrs at the princely cost of 10 dirhams each (just less than £2.00).  I sat at the front in the area reserved for Ladies, and Patrick was with the men at the back…  He had a very interesting journey chatting to a chap (Faisal) who was a cabinet maker and was originally from Pakistan.  He employed seven men but was finding the conditions quite tough as not all his creditors were paying in a timely manner…  

We were dropped off at a highway intersection, about 15 mins taxi ride from the airport; we had been told that we would easily pick up a taxi!  Good job it wasn’t dark, but we only waited a few minutes before hailing a taxi approaching the intersection at high speed.   There were quite a few hours to wait before check-in but at the allotted time we boarded the ‘plane and then were on our way back to the UK.  The journey time was 6hrs 55mins – we had taken 32hrs 35mins to get just a little bit further!!

To be continued after the break ……


-          Al Ain is an oasis town.  What is an oasis and how is it formed?
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Steve B on

Pat and Linda
Excellent blog - though less comments added recently be in no doubt I have followed it with great interest - great writing style too.

Hope to catch up for a chat.
Best Regards

Chris & Pete on

This is truly some adventure. The blogs have been great so keep them coming when you set off on your next leg. Enjoy your time back in the UK.
C&P x

Gilbert on

Wowww !...
Juste a question : how does you explain the people you meet the signication & origine of "Canard" ? !

Vicky on

I really enjoy following your adventures. Well done.

Trevor and Sandy on

Sorry we missed you during your break but we await with great anticipation the next instalment

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