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Jan 03 2015

Desert trails

Another night that reminded us that we weren’t all that far from civilisation. As we were dropping off to sleep, we were shocked awake by the sounds of engines! My first thought was that we hadn’t avoided the dune bashers afterall. Fortunately, it turned out to be quad bikes who came past on the road, the sounds of the engines carried in the desert air. As we were returning to our slumper a very bizarre sound reached our ears – a very rhythmic sounds like large planks of wood being clapped together. Viking Explorer looked out through the tent (we sleep with only the net inner tent and no flysheet) and informed me that a herd of camels was walking through our camp!

We woke in the morning to wispy clouds across the sky – not that common in the UAE. The rising sun painted the clouds as it rose, making for beautiful skies. Everything was covered in a thin layer of dew – which I found surprising. The dune sand was slightly sticky as I walked up to take photos of the sunrise.

As we drank out morning coffee we watched a herd of 12 camels of various ages wander slowly over the dunes, browsing as they went. They were very aware of us, and kept a healthy distance, watching us with a cautious eye.

We continued along the route 2 we were following. I may have neglected to mention that we were following the route in reverse, which always carries an element of chance with it. So far, we had been able to navigate the route in reverse, but our luck ran out. We reached a point where we couldn’t find a reliable track to continue. The few options we tested were less well travelled, slightly softer and the dunes had steep sides. Viking Explorer climbed out of the car a few times and scouted the way ahead.

Since we were travelling on our own, we opted for a sager option and followed the track under the powerlines (which almost always seems to exist). We suspected from the route notes that we would stumble across a farm road, and we were correct.

Our last kilometres took us past a camel race track where it seemed there had been activity early in the day. We enjoyed the last few kilometres of adventuring before joining the multi-lane highways north of Dubai.

As we returned to Abu Dhabi on the smooth tar roads with low traffic, we smiled at another enjoyable weekend of mini-adventure. It is all about keeping the dream alive …

2 comments

  1. Atam

    Hey Sheelah,

    How are you? Do you remember me? I am the girl from India whom you met in Senegal.
    How was your African trip?

    You still seem to be on the move…that’s awesome!!

    How have you been? :)
    Happy New Year.

    Regards,

    Atam

    1. African GirlChild

      Hi Atam! Of course we remember you. I still have fond memories (and a great photo) of all of us sitting around the table, under the stars, chatting at Zebrabar. I hope you are well and also managing to keep up your travels xx

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