Monday, 12 November 2012

Sand in my Veins!

I have toyed with putting this up as it doesn’t really concern Greece, but then I figured why not. It’s about an adventure in the desert, so here you go!

At the end of October I decided that I needed a break from Island life, Crete is lovely but I had been in once place for too long and I was itching to go somewhere else. Given that I was brought up in the United Arab Emirates and still have quite a few friends there I though it was as good a place as any! So I caught an flight and landed in Dubai.

To be honest my friends are your not your average jo’s, in fact when it comes to their 4x4s and off-roading they are about as far away from normal as an elephant is on an iceberg! These guys, like my self and my husband are into off-roading, big time. So much so that what was once a small competition in mine is, bigger, better, more powerful (I’m talking about cars here!) than yours, has stemmed into a flourishing company kitting the adventurous dubia-ites out with every thing from toys and food to rescue and recovery year – more about that later.

We loaded the cars with a small amount of gear – it was after all a short trip – in went the camping year, tents, mattresses, pillows, duvets (no sleeping bags here people!), enough food to feed a small army, a fare amount of intoxicating beverages, barbeques, chairs, tables, gas lights, electric lights, towing gear, awnings, pots pans, plates, knives and forks, you get the idea, we had everything including the kitchen sink and some more. Eventually after some carful packing which resembled more a game of chines chess than anything else, we where ready and set off along the road, picking up other friends along the way – four hours later – we found our camp site, a stones throw from Saudi Arabian boarder!

The makings of a camp ... 

Good old under water housing for the camera

Safa doggie making good use of an abandoned Iceberg!

Clear clear water ... what you can't see is the massive school of fish that are about to swim past me!

Swimming out to play with the dolphins.... 

 Safa doggie is sent home! 

The dolphins spent about half an hour breaching in front of our camp on the beach, G and T's in hand we watched them until the sun set.  

One of the small coves around the corner from our beach camp.

An abandoned dock ... now slowly being consumed by the sea.

The beach was stunning, completely untouched (I will add pictures of it when I find the right chip!), we where graced by dolphins in the afternoon and stunning phosphorescents for our evening swim. With the camp set up we decided to spend two nights on the beach. It was so calming and relaxing that who could blame us! We swam, snorkeled and played various games of Frisbee with a Frisbee that was so misbehaved we where all convinced it had had a game change and was in fact a boomerang!

We chanced upon a run way ... just incase you wanted to fly in, the air strip was less than 800m from the beach! 

After, eating, drinking, swimming and laughing as much as we could we decided to move on. The party grew smaller as the sensible people went back to work to in the big bad city. The rest of us, well the four of us decided to head of into the Sand.

The desert has a remarkable ability to change shape, color and content in less than 100m ... at one point we thought that we might find the mars rover (sadly the picture dose not to the land scape justice!)

There is something so incredibly soothing about the sand. I think I have more sand and water running in my veins than I do blood. To the untrained eye and the in experienced the desert is a dangerous, baron and forgoing place, to us it is a play ground full of objects of pure curiosity and entertainment. There is a huge wealth of wild life out in the sands, bird life, flora and furan indigenous to the Arabian plateau, we where followed for over 80 kilometers by swarms of butterflies taking refuge on our trucks when ever we stopped.

Yes this is the impact / crash site of a rather large rocket ... guess some one was being naughty! 

Having driven for hours we found the beginning of what would one day (very soon) be a huge fence... the fence line stretched as far as the eye could see in both directions.

A line of cones marks out what will i suspect one day be another fence ... so off-roading will become off highwaying. Sadly huge reminder that the human race is taking over everything.

We spend the night out in the wild, sand surrounding us in every direction.  The next morning we decided to try to make it to a road which uncommonly non of us had driven down ... this was, as always, some what easier said than done. First we had to find it and to find it was had to criss cross a wealth of small dunes. The dunes where very soft and very hard to read. The boys driving the cars are extremely experienced, I have seen them do things with cars that most people would only dream of doing. Yet even these boys decided that the sand was too soft and while we thought that we would make it to the road, we where also convinced that it would come at quite a high cost if not to us than to one of the cars. So the grown up versions of our child like selves decided to back track and head for an old Bedouin high way we had passed on the way in.

In order to make a sand crossing easier we let the air out of the tires so that the weight of the car is spread over a much larger surface area.

Shiek Yabber ....

This was another one of those genius ideas that was perhaps not so genius … driving into the sun in the sand makes the sand somewhat harder to read than normal, inevitably we got our selves slightly stuck… though nothing that we could not get out of!

Eventually we made it back to the black top and a few hours after that we where home with more friends eating more food than even my Greek chums could have cooked up!!   

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