Published: January 17th 2009December 3rd 2008
Keeping up with the idea of seeing much more then just Dubai within UAE, I have taken another trip in one of the Emirates. This one being Ras Al Khaimah. This is out further north east of Dubai, right near the border of Oman. Once again, the lovely FJ Cruiser and a guidebook made another excursion into the unknown possible. It is an interesting note that sometimes the best trips are the simple ones. Out here in the UAE, there is so much to see away from the city that often you can easily drive for awhile and then be in a totally different land, often with no one else around. This translates to weekends being out on the road.
There are a total of 7 Emirates in the UAE, Ras Al Khaimah of course being one. After the British occupation in the early 20th century, the Emirates all banded together and created one country. This Emirate is of course not nearly as populated as Dubai. There are around 300,000 people total here, most living in the city. This is a much calmer place then Dubai (as are most areas of the world). With not much oil here, the economy
The Camel vet.
On the way to the area, it was a relief to find a dependable camel vet just in case.
of this region is focused around cement and ceramics.
Besides the great views, being able to sleep in the desert under the stars is an amazing experience that I wish everyone could get a chance to do. The feeling of lying back and be a part of the desert in the calm is something I will not attempt to explain. As I hope the pictures may show, the land and scenery afforded many opportunities to merely sit back and enjoy.
On this trip I ran into a few locals, and for people who may live in Dubai, I must describe the locals outside of the city as different. Often in Dubai, people are very busy, and the impression can be made that the locals are not interested in meeting foreigners. When I have been outside of the city, everyone has been very kind and helpful. It's funny, because before I thought that the small town people would be less hospitable then those within the city. I have found this is not the case in UAE.
Beyond the camping, this trip also gave the chance for some great 4-wheeling. For about 10 miles I drove through a river canyon
This guy does it all
Even wild deer can apparantly come here if the need arises.
that is strictly for 4-wheel vehicles only. The best I can describe it as almost like a maze through the desert. Luckily there was only one direction so I did not get lost. I also got a chance to do some driving through the dunes. I was proud to say that this day with various conditions, I did not get stuck.
This trip ended with a quick drive through a small village at the end of the canyon. Often I wondered what it would be like to live in this area. The people here I imagine have been to a big city like Dubai perhaps a handful of times. To be able to drive through and see an area that has remained largely traditional is just another great experience of living in this area. It helps me to realize how lucky I am to be able to travel and see places such as this. With this current year of teaching being the last in the region, I know there will be some lasting memories of trips such as this one.
There are more photos below