Off-roading always comes with some surprises! This weekend, there were several!
I started my day at five a.m. to drive the hour and a half trip to Al-Ain to meet the group (Oasis Off-Road). It's a fast road with a speed limit of 140 km/h. Well, it would be rude not to oblige, eh...? Except that I then had a blow-out and shredded my tyre at top speed. 😳
Well, the Land Cruiser I'd been keeping pace with for around 50 km, saw me slow down and pull over, so they did the same, and reversed back to my car. Three young Emirati piled out and then insisted they change the wheel for me, whilst I sat in the cool comfort of their car. So sweet!
The second surprise was coming across an enormous herd of camels in the desert - I've never seen so many on the move at once. Many were almost white, and quite beautiful ( for a camel! 😬) We stopped to watch them move, and Marina engineered to give the camel herd (a young lad on a quad-bike), a nice cold drink from the icebox.
The third surprise was Tree Valley - I'm guessing this is just a nickname, but what a lovely area of undulating dunes, home to a number of beautiful trees, providing 'personal' shade for individual cars and picnics, should the mood arise.🌳🌳🌳
The fourth was an invitation to an Emirati home for a wonderful lunch and chat with the ladies of the house - such beautiful and articulate young ladies. Maryam, the oldest daughter, was also so excited... she had just bought herself a fantastic new car... and whilst she also drives off road, this one is not quite suitable for off-roading, I think!
Finally, returning to Dubai, my fifth surprise was a sudden sandstorm. Very strong winds, sand swirling across the road, rain, and visibility reduced to a minimal level. As I drove through an underpass, visibility was briefly zero.
There was so much water from just a couple of minutes of torrential rain, that the collection at the nadir of the underpass sent spray flying around 10 meters into the air...
Was the trip worth it?? Hell, yeah - see the photos.... what a picturesque landscape!