In our Doobying in Dubai adventures thus far, we have “swum” with the fishes, waded in Wadi waters, and “kaused” kayak “khaos”, not to mention the regular downing of large brandies, and the lying in darkened rooms seeking enlightenment (no smart comments about switches and bulbs please).
We are now at the mid-way point of this tragi-comic travelog and still alive, just about.
The next day was spent idling on the beach, and I mean idling. No swimming, no paddling, no acrobatics. Just-a-laying on the lounger, slathered in factor for fair folk, Evian facial mist and a large “bockle” of Water. Safe as houses.
That evening, the duney desert beckoned.
The hotel organised trips a bit further afield, a bit “Romancing the Stone” without Michael Douglas, where Polly Punter gets brought to the Desert, driven over the Dunes, served “Dinner” (uses term loosely) and beholds Bedouin dancing. Due to medical circumstances beyond my control, God, (YET AGAIN), was excused from participating, So he came along later on his donkey like Joseph, while Mary went on ahead solo, #saddo.
The peeps organising the evening, put me in with a very nice English family. They welcomed me into the jeep with seriously pitying looks on their faces. Awh bless, Sally solo on her own, kinda looks (reminiscent of ye gondola story).
We had Mammy, Daddy and two kids (one of each), plus Muppet me, in zee jeep, with Animal the Psycho Driver.
Oh boy!!! He was fine on the motorway journey, which lasted about 45 minutes and was about as scenic as driving through the midlands on a foggy day. But when he hit the sand, he went foot to the floor on the accelerator. Unfortunately, due to my being the single supplement, I was sitting in the front passenger seat.
Well Animal, HE TOOK OFF up these mountainous dunes, I mean huge, TITANIC SANDBERGS,
And it was kinda cool on the “up-ski”. The wheels have amazing treads that can keep their grip on the sand without problem. Up and up we went.
up the dune.
As that lovely man Isaac “Gravity” Newtown once said “What goes up must come down”.
Me had no thinky of that one, UNTIL, we reached the tip,
and Animal flips the jeep, over the top. STOMACH IN MOUTH (was nearly screamed out onto my lap). We were doing a sheer vertical drop down this multi foot high sand dune. EEEEEK.
I thought we were dead!
The gang behind me were screaming. I was bellowing. All this while, “Said the Sadist” was laughing in a muhwahhhahaha kind of way. ANYONE GOT ANY “QUELLS”?
And then half way down , he swung the jeep around a full 360 spin.
The jeeps have this “multiple wheel drive” vibe going on you see, and the drivers lock the steering wheel hard, then whoosh wheel it back in the opposite direction. It’s crash test craziness.
It was mental. Well, it was pretty awesome in hindsight, but it was mental in the moment.
He went up and down dunes like a rubber roadrunner. Up down, twist turn, and then, he started doing handbrake turns and wheelies. Lewis Hamilton eat your heart out. This was a nut-job driver’s dream job.
Fair play to him though, he was some driver.
By the time he finished the gig, we were very Elvis – “ALL SHOOK UP”.
Legs and brains buckled (and not from alcohol for a change – YET), we got out of the car and wobbled over to a seating area, bedecked with cushions and “soft furnishings” as they say. It was an extremely large sandy square surrounded on one side by a low, one storey building, in which the dinner and ents would be held later on.
For now though, they gave us some class of drink, it had alcohol “innit”! is all I know!! (See above – you just knew it wouldn’t be long before alcohol would be in the mix). We (I) necked it, and our bodies resumed a more relaxed pose. HAH!
Next up, the camel ride!
I was like “you’re shitting me” (I really should read the blurb more carefully), and, they’re like, “nope”.
I get put on this camel, no easy feat. Smelly stinky bloody thing. However, luckily I can ride (horses), so I do at least know that when an animal is getting up it leans down in a forwards motion before it goes up. So I was braced for that. Unfortunately, the Mammy (from the family) wasn’t, and got thrown off. Ouch.
Well “Humpty” was a dote, albeit a smelly one. Off we trotted, him roaring (#camel-noise) as they do, but it was all good. Boing, bounce, boing, bounce, we went around the compound and over a small dune. Nothing too taxing. Humpty behaved himself impeccably. Until we came to a halt.
Obviously, he had to lower himself down, in order for me to ‘disembark’. But he wasn’t in the mood. The camel-herd started smacking him with a long stick, which seemed to make Humpty even more belligerent.
Now, God had joined us by this stage, so he stepped in (hater of animal abuse) and took the reins and led the poor beast until he managed to get him to “sit down” (do camels sit?). He was the sweetest thing. He even leaned sideways to let me off. Altogether, AWH .
This was turning into one of those evenings that you seriously regretted not having a camcorder with you.
Now for dinner and dancing! WOOski.
The food was a bit on the eat with “caveat” side.
There was chicken – suspect!
Some kind of beef – also suspect!!
**you know when you aren’t 100% convinced named food isn’t actually what it says it’s meant to be!
Stuffed apricots – lovely (noms).
Then THEN they came out with – and here I’m re-referencing “Romancing the Stone” – “insects”. I thought I was going to hurl.
Em, Roast Scarab aka Cockroach, not for me – “NO THANK YOU”. Speciality seemingly. Eugh!
So, I had a glass of something alcoholic instead. There is an alcoholic trend forming here isn’t there. Well, you gotta do something with yer hands!
Then we had the hugely entertaining Bedouin dancing. All was well until they decided they wanted audience participation. Up we had to get.
It was just the funniest thing. Belly dancing is sooo me – my hips were just made for it.
Then we all had to do ring-a-rosy meets the can-can. It was a riotous comedy. Most unrefined. Great Fun.
At this stage the parents of English family were pissed, obvs not big drinkers #orIrish. They were pricelessly funny.
The dancers had taught us a wee dance and then had us perform it ourselves. Daddy fell over Mammy and both ended up in a sodden crumple on the ground. Gales of Laughter.
And that was that. The evening had come to an end. Into the jeeps and off home with us.
It had been a top night – adventurous, traumatic, interesting, new, funny, entertaining – something I would heartily recommend anyone visiting the UAE to do. The desert is breath-taking, especially at sunset. It is even more spectacular under a full moon and sky full of stars.
I hold the memory dear. Best night of the holiday for sure.
As is becoming a habit, I’ll leave you with this blast from the past – “Midnight at the Oasis”. I’ll see you again soon, with more tales from zee HOLIDAYZE.