As I mentioned here, I tried the Desert Safari last weekend. You can opt for a morning, evening (our choice) or overnight safari. After our visit to Atlantis (details in a separate post), we took a late lunch in Chowking (Jollibee dining was crossed out because we wanted more choices, especially that craving for kare-kare attacked). I intentionally ate moderately to prepare for the dune bashing.
One of my friends who is based in Dubai made the required booking, free pick is included in the package. The representative from Arabian Knight Tours picked us up at 430pm from Chowking-Deira (Dubai). He was driving a land cruiser and we thought we will be transferred to another vehicle for the dune bashing (phase 1 of safari). Until we noticed that we were already out of the civilization, errr, I mean I saw nothing but yellow-brown sand and he made an exciting turn to a seemingly camp. Then I felt the earth moved under my skin. Haha. We were so surprised the bashing kicked off like that. Exciting.
As we were welcomed by the earthquake-y drive, we were more surprised when he did cut it on the slope that we thought we would fall. Then the other 4×4 SUV came and parked like they were synched. I think that was past 5pm then. The driver was securing the wheels at this point:
We asked him, “Is that all?” You know how it feels when the excitement is abruptly cut off? Or in case anyone from our group was scared, he or she was probably relieved at that point. We were given almost 10 minutes to take photos. The sunshine is just enough that made the sand looks more beautiful. Did you just notice how wonderful the sand ripples are?
We went down and I noticed some took off their shoes to enjoy the sand. I was still calculating my steps the first time I came down, but eventually I found it delightful. It brought a childlike feel as I found my balance and strategy on walking on the sand. Of course, it was more tiring to go up.
I was reaching for the bottled water as we returned to the cruiser, then we were reminded that we shall not drink much. I must mention that our assigned driver is good aside from that he has established this air that we were in good hands with him from the moment he picked us up.
Then the dune bashing begun!
(Taken from the window. Our first fall happened here.)
How was it like? It’s generally scary. It’s being literally bashed, shaken, moved, drove from one slope to the other, you don’t know what’s going to happen next. If you’ve watched the movie Dubai, this is the activity that made John Lloyd vomit. The tourists normally close their eyes and have something to cover their head to lessen the fear. I was surprised big time to realize that I enjoyed it a lot. Remember my fear of heights/falling? I think it’s phasing to leave my system already. I even managed to take photos while the bashing was ongoing. I was trying to capture this slope but I didn’t catch the right angle, so I borrowed this one from the net:
Originally uploaded here
Scared or thrilled by that photo? My eyes were wide-ecstatic the whole (at least one hour) ride. I must admit that I was a little scared to try it, especially when I heard the feedback from those who tried it. But you never know, try it unless you’re the type whose prone to heart attack. It’s a terrific experience.
(Another snap from the window. Yes, we were thrown there!)
Maybe the amazement contributed to taking off my fears. Why would I close my eyes when the opportunity to witness/experience the heart of the dessert is there? And oh well, the chance to get bashed, too. See here how a land cruiser flies during dune bashing.
However, we had to stop for a few minutes because someone from our group had to vomit. The cruiser is actually equipped with plastic bags for (un)expected cases like this. But she preferred to splash her debris outside.
I took these photos during the few minutes stop over. I wonder what are those plants that thrive there.
The dune bashing is strategized to include a 30-minute stop over in the area which is near the sort of mountain. I don’t know how it’s called. Here are the other groups of tourists approaching for the stop over, too.
Again, some walked barefoot.
I was catching my breath to reach the top.
The fossil rock is interesting. My companions didn’t want to climb up to this point. They were still trying to recover from the quake. Another stranger is caught. I was waiting for him to leave but he was enjoying feeling the fossil rock. Heehee.
I drank a lot of water at this point. Nakakahingal.
From there, you’d see the vehicles that look so tiny like this one which seemed to tumble. We got a clear idea of what was happening to us.
White sand is beautiful. But this kind of sand is also beautiful that you will find delight just by staring at it.
I just realized why this part of the world was created with non-abundance of rain. Imagine the old days and until now, if it poured heavily. The flood will look like champorado and/or dinuguan.
The bashing will be done based on your preference. Here’s a normal one. But with regard to this aspect, I prefer a rough ride.
Don’t miss this one when you’re visiting UAE.
Next stop: Sunset camel ride