The desert is not all about riding camels!
One of the funnest experiences I’ve done while in Dubai was going dune bashing .. although nature decided to surprise us with a sand storm that day we stuck to our plans and drove from Dubai towards Hatta on the Hatta-Oman road (Dubai-alAin highway).. if memory serves me correctly it should be around 45mins drive .. on that highway there must have been at least three places for ATV rental we picked the one that allowed us to leave the fenced premises (note: it is much safer to be within the premises unless you are confident enough or “selling it” (looking for that adrenaline rush) .. we got on our ATVs and headed towards the mountain like sand dunes .. we had a hard time operating it at first and we kept sinking into the sand “our ATVS are not working properly can we change them” my friend asked the owners (or was it me?!) .. well it turned out that we had to drive them much faster to avoid sinking!
Off we went up the sand dunes and as soon as we reached the peak it was a different world … 4x4s and ATVs everywhere.. our version of the fast and the furious..
It was an amazing day regardless of the sandstorm ..and I must recommend it for your next visit to Dubai, although preferably when the weather gets better.. I know that many hotels and tourist agents can make a booking .. but if you’re looking for hardcore, no restriction attached stuff then just get your car and drive as per my instructions above 🙂 …. remember to look for the one that will allow you to leave the premises and also make sure to have your driver license with you … and keep safe!
Its been a while now since my trip to Nepal back in April and I am hungry for another adventure .. So I’ve been planning my next trip but it just never get easier especially when new things come up that you need to put into consideration..
So where will my next journey be? to be honest I haven’t mad my decision yet .. there are the following factors to consider:
Time – when and how long? since I only have few days of vacation left this year it’ll probably be sometimes early next year .. it would be smart to find a holiday and attach few vacation days to save my vacation days for other trips … Although I am also considering going all the way and take all my 30 days vacation days for 2011 plus the 15 days unpaid leaves and just cruise around the world for 45days !
Budget – money is a concern since I am trying to save some for something else in mind Inshallah … so I have to plan wisely .. since there is so much that I want to see in this beautiful world of ours .. I thought of concentrating on the less expensive destinations .. so that would be somewhere in Asia .. I realized that I can see about 10 countries in Asia (excluding japan) compared to maybe 2 or 3 somewhere else for a similar budget!
Where – well this is mostly depending on the time and budget .. but I am thinking either diversity (more countries) or beach destinations since its been a while ,I’ve been thinking mountains, camping, and cold weather mostly so am ready to switch ..a yearning to visit my university and home away form home might throw things off!
Type – anything goes .. It could be cultural, adventure, relaxation, meditation, photography, fun,work, volunteer or a bit of everything..
This has been part of my agenda lately, planning my trip, but in our life and crazy world anything goes …
I can’t believe just how fast time flies by … is it Ramadan already?! Ramadan is a very special month..it helps me reevaluate my life and to meditate and reconnect with God.. This Ramadan should be no different except for one thing … I am going to be in LONDON!
I am taking a course in london and I am very excited even though it might be somewhat challenging having to concentrate being foodless and all … yes I am going to miss Iftar with my family and being around them during this holy month (although in the past ten years I’ve only had 2 Ramadans in Kuwait) …
So let me wish you all a happy and fulfilling Ramdan and hope that I can keep you posted of my time over there… (finger crossed 🙂 )
My friends and I decided to go camping in Khasab, Oman …we spent over a week planning this trip … first the seven of us could not agree on a date then came the trip planning disagreements and it just got worse from there … so since I suggested the idea I said “Next weekend I am going camping, anyone interested let me know but I am going anyway and I am not postponing it!” … I almost regretted saying those words since I really did not want to go alone 🙂 …. gladly five or six of my friends wanted to come … so we prepared a list of what we needed and by the following weekend we were ready to go … almost.. ” Hey MO, sorry I can’t make it” … “Hey, sorry but something came up and I can’t ..” ….
Well the now three musketeers set off on their road trip from Dubai to Oman … Arriving few hours later to Khasab it felt like stepping onto a different planet (like a scene from planet Mars as my aunt puts it when she visited the place few years back) … it was very rocky and abandoned and lacked many colours … but against all those odds it was really a nice and relaxed place …
After touring around in our 4×4 .. we drove to the highest camping point to fix our tent before the sun sets … on the way up the mountain the road was very narrow and to be honest a bit scary … there were some abandoned houses along the way … when we reached to the top and pitched our tent .. it got really cold … we looked for the cooker to make some tea and coffee but to our surprise the gas we bought did not fit the head we got! … can’t have any food or drink and its friggin cold … we tried making a fire but it just wouldn’t last over 5 mins … there were some Brits (if am not mistaken) who were camping few meters from us and we asked them “hi … do you think you can help us fix this cooker?” … “Ahh … sorry guys you need another head” …. “we can’t cook our dinner or food and there’s no place around here at all that we can get something to eat 😦 ” ….. “Ahh … am sorry … Good luck” ….”!!!”
Well we kinda thought maybe if we can get some sympathy and join them for dinner we can make it a night 🙂 … but it didn’t work as you can see from the above conversation … after few hours of freezing … we decided its time to call it quits … we packed our gears and headed back … Driving back I must say was very scary … you can barely see ahead and occasionally you’ll be surprised by something that crosses in front of you unexpectedly … oh yeah and the occasional howls..
Well … although it was a camping gone bad experience .. we really did have fun! …. and the moral of the story : Pick your friends, plan your trip right, and even when everything goes bad just laugh and have fun!
Many tourists visit Dubai (or the UAE) thinking its just about the Vegaseque glamour … but behind the city borders there are all kinds of fun things to do and see specially for the outdoors fans… I came across this book while living in Dubai; it’s the EXPLORER’s Guide to Off-Road UAE and it highlights different places around the UAE worth visiting … What I like about this book is that it comes with many tips such as what’s the nearest gas station along the road, the best camping spots, what’s suitable for a 4×4 only and whats not, the best time to visit and many other tips ….so next time you visit the UAE grab this book from any bookstore around and then start planning your trip..
You can also check out Oman’s EXPLORER’s guid as it’s filled with more exciting adventures
For someone coming from a place of mostly deserts… I never experienced a desert life before my college years … so when I heard of a place in Colorado with sand dunes I thought I gotta check it out!
We arrived late at night to the Great Sand dunes National Park in Colorado and it was pitch black … few minutes ride up the mountains we were able to find our camping spot … after another few loooong minutes of fixing our tent and eating our junk food bought from the gas station along the way … we went to sleep hoping that when the sun comes up it’ll bring with it a pleasant sight worth our long journey …
And this is what we saw the next morning…….
Paris is one of the most romantic cities in Europe … everything and everyone around you screams LOVE! Although I am not much of a romantic person It did feel like some scenes cut and pasted from some romantic movies all around…
I am lucky to have the chance to experience Paris twice once as a teenager and the last as an independent traveller… the latter was the best experience I had of Paris..
It was around christmas time when I arrived at the train station in the heart of Paris … this was part of a Eurorail trip that winter … the moment I stepped out of the train station it felt like a scene of a classic Parisian movie … I booked my accommodation somewhere few blocks from the station mainly due to my budget at the time and because I did not want to stay in the tourist occupied ChampsElysees … something that I still love to do besides all the latest technology is to get out my map and navigate (some times it pisses people off since I won’t ask for direction … but I think am good at it :p) ..
To me , Paris is a city that is best explored by foot (and a map) … It is not the Louvre, the Eiffel, the arc, or the Champs Elysees that makes this city special …It’s about the many alleys hidden behind these landmarks … The streets of Paris are a joy to walk through and in every turn you take you are surprised by a bakery or a hidden gallery … a wide street or a narrow alley … Paris has so many surprises for those who take the time to explore it…
So this city is about everything… culture, food, art, health, shopping, spiritual and romance something that I hope I get to experience next time I get to visit this city
Au revoir !