I just loved waking up every day in Dubai to my next adventure.
I had no idea today was going to be a doozy—but a doozy it was!
I had SO much fun on this 6-hour safari. Here we had the pleasure of meeting a couple from Canada and a couple from America as we all piled into the land cruiser once the driver picked everyone up from their prospective hotels.
The safari carried on from about 3:30pm-9:30pm and I loved every minute of it—well, almost every minute of it. There was a bit of dune bashing that threw me for a huge loop. I was NOT prepared for that, I can tell you. What started off as a smooth ride soon turned into chaos.
I had absolutely NO IDEA we would be in a land cruiser with our driver tearing across the sand hills like a freaking maniac!!! What was that about?! At first I thought we were just going over a few bumpy parts to get across the desert, but NO—apparently, it’s all part of the safari adventure! They actually hire drivers to drive around like nut jobs across the desert on the way to camp. What?!
And my date and I were sitting in the very back seat which made the experience that much worse for me. You can feel everything in the back seat—all the bumps and everything! I swear I don’t know how many times I thought we were going to tip over and go rolling down any number of those hills. Geez Louise!
One of the guys in our group took an excellent video of some of it and was kind enough to send it to me. But in the video below, yeah, you can hear me carrying on in the back seat—but not nearly as much as I really was. This is because the video is only 30 seconds long but our maddening ride on those hills was 30 minutes long! And the video doesn’t make the ride seem nearly as rough as it really was. Trust me.
Video courtesy of Scott McQuistan
It was all I could do to keep myself from getting nauseous, dizzy, and throwing up vomit in the back seat—considering I noticed there was absolutely no way to let the windows down in the back seat just in case I had an accident. Seriously?! Is this really happening right now?! My date tried to help me through it all best he could, bless his heart.
Somewhere along the way to camp, we stopped at a local store for about a 5-minute rest break. We grabbed some snacks to eat the rest of the way to camp.
Once we got there, we decided to trek up a hill for a bit of sand boarding. Well, actually, I just watched others try it out.
Afterwards, we rode a camel—but not like I was expecting. This camel ride was exactly the same thing you can get at your local zoo anywhere. I mean, I was expecting to trek across the massive desert on a camel by myself with the expectation of getting lost. But no—it’s a guided camel that walks around a little fenced in circle. I’m pretty sure there are such camel rides across the desert, but it wasn’t the case in our instance. But it was fun enough though.
At some point the girls were getting henna tattoos so I figured—why not? Might as well. But I opted not to do the Arabic dressing. I figured I already had a hijab at my hotel that I bought the other day—so I was good.
Then one of my favorite parts of any evening came—the buffet-style dinner. As you know, anything with food is right up my alley.
Naturally, I just picked a line and got into it like I’d do in the States. But someone straightened me out quickly and told me I needed to go to the women’s line because I was standing in the men’s line. OKAY! I’m just not used to that sort of thing in the States, but it was no problem.
Then we took our plate of food to a spot near the stage where we sat on the ground, ate dinner, and watched a very entertaining show. There was belly dancing, tanura dancing, loud music, and a great time by all.
I’ll tell you—when the belly dancer came out onto stage, I’ve never seen so many men jump up and flock to the front of the stage so fast with cameras and video recorders in hand. All I could do was chuckle.
After dinner and the show was over, the six of us piled back into the land cruiser with the driver to head back home. Of course, I’m fearing we’re going to do more dune bashing on the way back across the sands the same as we experienced coming out to camp—but this time ON A FULL STOMACH! All I could think was—oh, say it isn’t so!!!
But, thank the heavens, we didn’t have to do the dune bashing again because I’m pretty sure all the food in my stomach wouldn’t have stayed there very long.
So, if you have nothing else to do today, add a bit of craziness into your life by going on a dune bashing adventure.
Take-Away Life Lesson: As crazy as it was for me to spontaneously decide to leave home and head to the Middle East within 24 hours, I’m glad to have had the opportunity to do so many things and meet so many people on my way to Dubai, in Dubai, and in the entire United Arab Emirates (UAE). I’ll definitely be back. I can’t wait to see what life has in store for me next.