Regardless of what anyone might tell you, camels smell WORSE than horses, but it was a similar scent. I did not participate in the photo op with the camels because a lot of them looked on the verge of spitting or bitting. I did however manage to snap a gem of a photo of one of the most intense female mullets ever. (I would try and post it here, but the internet has been exceptionally horrible lately, but you can find some photos on facebook. Rach – I promise I am trying to upload to shutterfly, but I can’t.)
After the drivers deflated the tires a little bit, we set off into the dunes. There were about 15-20 cars. Fortunately we had our land cruiser to ourselves (the 4 of us). Our driver also LOVED carving new paths in the dunes as we were dune bashing. Dune Bashing is off-roading in huge dunes, so we had so much fun because the driver was blasting some great music and we got to see lots of sand.
I sat in the back (perhaps not the best place to sit), but it allowed me to get some great photos of the setting sun. Perhaps the most eventful moment was when we almost rolled the car down the dune, but we survived. After driving for about 20-30 minutes, we parked the cars on the top of a huge dune so that we could get out and take pictures and such because the sun was setting and it was so gorgeous. We could also try “sand-boarding”.
Now as a person who has been snow-skiing once, hasn’t waterskied since she was about 10, and has never snowboarded, I was “eager” to try sandboarding. I wanted to sandboard to say that I could. I attempted, and fell. I attempted again, and fell again. It’s not as much fun as it looks, because you have to WALK back up the dune, when there is sand blowing over the top of the dune into your eyes. Not so fun, but we did it.
After dumping about 3 pounds of sand out of my shoes, we got back into the car and drove to what was essentially an open-air fort for a “traditional” meal. I got some henna with my boss and we enjoyed a belly dancing show. The belly dancer even pulled people on stage to dance with her. I was selected at one point and along with everyone else on stage, felt very awkward while she tried to have us mimic her actions. But we had fun :). The meal was quite good and then we drove back to Abu Dhabi.
As for this week, I have been in the hotel for over 20 days meaning that I just qualified for a Starwood bonus of 25,000 points, so yay! Other than that, I am very much looking forward to moving into an apartment as much as I would like to have some clean my room everyday (because somehow in the 3 waking hours that I spend in my room everyday, I manage to make a huge mess).
Today, I laid at the pool for a little bit because I figure that when I eventually come home I should look tan so that you all believe that I actually lived in the Middle East and not in some town in Northern Minnesota (like I normally look in winter).
I know that most of you are beginning to enjoy the lovely weather that visits Chicago around Thanksgiving. I’d like to let you know that it has been about 80-85 here during the day. I do love snow, but I am not missing the cold horribly yet (and I definitely won’t in January and February). I will miss the snow and twinkle lights however :(, so keep me posted on the snow situation with all of you.
Also, I have been loving all of your individual email updates on your lives :). It always brightens my day, so please keep those coming. I hope that everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and safe travels this week! Eat some extra mashed potatoes for me!