Saturday, January 2, 2010

I'm sitting here in the sand dunes, asking the ocean what to do (David Crosby)

Wow - what a day! We've spent today close to the Saudi Arabia border, driving around sand dunes and riding camels. An awesome experience!

Jacky and Jade were keen to 1) see the desert and 2) ride a camel before they left to go back to New Zealand this week (so that Jade can get ready for University). I contacted the Qatar International Adventure company last week and arranged our trip for today. Shahid was our driver and, oh boy - could he drive (backwards down a dune at one point - check out the photos).
These ones were taken when we started on the dunes - Shahid was lowering the tyre pressures on his Landcruiser at the time. The flat desert gives way to these little sand mounds about 30 minutes out of Doha.

After driving over sand dunes for about 10 minutes we came to the inland sea - Khor al Adaid (if you glance at the map in the left column you'll see the area on the Saudi border to the southeast of Qatar). The water is crystal clear and quite shallow (you can see the tyre tracks under the water). Shahid told us the dunes change literally overnight. He was surprised a few times to go over a dune to see a new one had arrived since yesterday.

As we were driving we came across a herd of camels being driven towards Saudi. I love the way camels look - contented in such a non-judgemental way, happy just to be, just to exist.

This is the Emir's tent compound - set up on a dune with a spectacular view across to Saudi Arabia (just visible across the sea). This is as close as we could get without raising police interest. While we were viewing this, Shahid did his backwards down the dune trick.

And finally - we are pictured having a ride on our friendly camel whose name will remain a mystery cos none of us could understand what the camel's owner told us. It was a great end (pardon the pun) to a great adventure in the dunes.

More soon (Inshallah) - Love and peace - Wozza

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