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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Desert Dune Adventure

After our half-day city tour in the morning, we returned to our hotel to battle jet lag & get ready for our big adventure in the sand dunes that evening.

We were picked at our hotel & drove about an hour, past many more buildings and construction sites out into the desert. As we approached the desert, it was VERY desolate. We could watch the sand blowing over the road & I imagine that it can get pretty covered in a good sandstorm. I wonder if they "shovel" sand like those in the north shovel snow...

There were at least 20 of these jacked up Yukons that met up in the desert to start out trek through the sand dunes together. This was our driver- I think he was one of the leaders of the group. We all set out in a caravan, following the other trucks as the went up & down the dunes.

One of the drivers took the crest of a sand dune the wrong way & popped off a tire. Our drive stopped to help him try to re-seat the tire (failed) and then just switch it out with the spare, which is no easy feat when the car isn't level & the sand won't support a jack.

We spent about an hour driving to the top a dune & then sliding down the backside. It was really fun, but I was scared! Given my line of work, I'm a bit nervous about rollovers! Our driver was awesome & I got used to the step angles we'd slide down.

All the other cars in the caravan continued on & they all looked so tiny in the distance.

I've never been in a real desert before, and it was beautiful. It wasn't too hot as it was near sundown & there was a strong breeze blowing sand (luckily it was low, around our feet & legs). The wind makes beautiful patterns and designs with the sand.

I had both my big and little camera & was trying to get my big camera inside the car, out of the sand. That worked well until it slid off the center console & fell right onto the ground and was covered in sand :(

We stopped for sunset, so we could watch it slip below the horizon. There's something so magical about sunrises and sunsets, and I can't believe we have 2 everyday and are mostly oblivious to the beauty around us.

All the trucks ended up at a Bedouin Camp set up for dinner & entertainment. There was a full open bar, refreshing cold towels & appetizers to greet us. We all sat at low tables with pillows on the ground for dinner. There were camel rides for the adventurous & I got a temporary henna tattoo on my leg.

They cooked up a wonderful dinner on the grills....

...and afterwards, we were treated to a lovely belly-dancing show.

See the tattoo? They also had a hookah smoking area where you could try apple flavored tobacco & sip on your wine. At one point, they turned out all the camp lights for about 5 minutes and you could really see some amazing stars in the middle of the desert.

GOOD NEWS OF THE DAY: Traveling for work again- off to Pensacola tonight.

1 comment:

Christy said...

Looks like a fabulous time!
I sooo want to do this one day!