Published: September 30th 2012September 28th 2012
When Miranda booked the night desert safari she used the one associated with her workplace. We met the guide at the Shangri la and there were 4 people in the jeep already. I assumed that there would only be the 6 of us on this little jaunt.Noooo way , there were about 50 jeeps on the same mission, maybe more. The desert was a fair way out of town - I'd say about an hour at a fair speed 120km /hr. We started with an introduction to falcons.
The resident falcon MUFFIN put on a good show and showed his prowess for being able to hunt with a little batman type mask over his eyes to heighten his hunting senses. The falcons hunted fair size animals for the beduoins. We had a few photo opportunities in the desert before THE RIDE. Even though I knew we were going to run over the sandunes in the desert I didn't think about getting sick. But it wasn't long before the oohs and a aahas turned into ahhhggggs. I couldn't ask the driver to stop so it was very uncomfortable-This is a warning - I used to get carsick as a kid but
you grow out of it. Having said that it is very intense riding and I wasn't the only one feeling very queasy.
We arrived at our campsite- the other companies had their own desert space in other locations. Ours was Arabian Adventures and what a camp it was. A beautifully lit up area with camel riding, dress ups in the authentic Arabian costume, shish-a, falcon showing and henna designing , all with a tasty Mezze starter followed by barbecued meats and middle eastern salads and a good selection of drinks both alcoholic and other.The camp was enhanced by textiles draped over lounges and the desert floor, candles, lamps and stalls. All under the Arabian night sky isolated in the desert. A few oryx's came by but otherwise we had the place to ourselves over 200 sq km circumference of desert around us.
Towards the end of the night a belly dancer came out to change the pace. Most people said that Arabian Adventures was the pick of the lot. I don't have any comparison but all went well EXCEPTa funny irony. I hadn't thought about money. Everything was paid for but I didn't know about the optional extras.
We got a few photos in the traditional Arab dress and at the end of the night we relented and committed to buying some!!!!!So when you don't have cash you flash a card. I will never forget the Arabian photographer waving the point of sale dock in the air; placing it on the thatched roof of a hut; all in the aid of acquiring a signal for the transaction to go through. I really didn't think it was going to work and the jeeps were all leaving - THEN there was a cry of absolute jubilation whistles, pats on the back - the cranking sound of the EFTPOS printing the receipt- I felt so happy for them before I realised that I almost got out of paying for the photos minus the guilt. Oh we'll.
Luckily we drove back to the main road in a more stately fashion along a straight smooth path before the hour long journey back to the city in the desert and back where the EFTPOS works 24/7.
There are more photos below