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Safari finally

Yesterday was the day to go on the safari, and i wasn't going to miss it for the second day in a row. The van to the safari wasn't due to pick me up until 1:00 pm, so I had a few hours to kill in the morning-i wasn't going to take the Metro anywhere, for fear of what happened the day before.

I stayed in the breakfast area eating for a while-I talked to a lady named Andrea who is from Argentina but is learning English. She is a travel agent, and has stayed in many five star hotels around the world, and travels often with her kids. She has just come from Bali, Singapore, Thailand and other places, and is staying at the hostel to save money, I guess. Anyway, she took me for a walk around the Dubai Marina area, which is only a 5 minute walk from the hostel but I haven't really explored yet. The marina area is a waterfront promenade with restaurants and stores along side. I learned Andrea has a daughter who is studying in Florence, and that by living in Argentina, and having parents that we're from Italy, she actually has dual citizenship-and everyone in her family will have dual citizenship (and Argentinian and Italian passports).


I returned back to the hostel to wait for the safari. After about 50 minutes of waiting, I was told the car was downstairs. Myself and 2 others from the hostel got onto the Land Cruiser, picked up two others at another hostel 5 minutes away, and then went through the horrible Dubai traffic to pick a couple up roughly 45 minutes away. So at the end we had 7 folks and the driver pushed in to a Land Cruiser for the hour drive to the desert. After roughly an hour-hour and a half pushed against each other in the Land Cruiser, we came to the entrance to the desert-the driver took us on a course through the desert-driving like a cowboy up and down the sand dunes to show us his abilities driving. It would have been more fun if maybe 5 of us we're in the car vs 8.

After 1/2 an hour of this driving (which seemed more like hours)-we came to a "oasis/camping" spot in the desert, which was a large compound camels, horses, and a large walled-off area with plenty of low-to-the-ground tables, and booths surrounding it selling sand-in-the-glass-with-your-name written, snacks (dinner wasn't being served until 6:30-it was now 5:00), pay-for-photo booths we're you can dress in Arabian costumes, and the like. I went outside for my free camel ride. i was second in line, and took the camel ride (the promised free ride lasted maybe 2 minutes)-you can pay extra for a longer ride. For extra money, I was able to drive a dune buggy or ride a horse through the desert. I always got a picture with a Falcon (which was used for hunting in Arabia).


After a while, there was a lot of time to kill, so I walked up and down the sand dunes and around the compound. Closer to 7:00 pm, we we're served some fried Indian foods like Samosas and other foods. Then a belly dancer got up and performed for us (there we're several hundred people at the compound, I imagine). Then the main course of all sorts of salads, breads, hummus and other mediocre food. (Chicken was available as well). The food was fine. Then other performers got up-including a couple of guys wearing dressed that lit up, and one breathing fire, and performing other tricks. In other words-typical tourist trap.


Then we got back in the van and went home.

Posted by DavidPearlman 19:24 Archived in United Arab Emirates

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