First week of December '07, everything about project was clear and I was ready to go out n N'joy. I decided to grab the first opportunity; this weekend was 3 days long. I rested on first day. Second day morning I ringed up travel agent office and booked the safari seat. I was waiting eagerly till afternoon since safari was scheduled to begin at 4 pm. Driver ringed up around 2.45 in noon, much earlier than scheduled time of 3.30 pm. Driver, Amin Mohammed; a typical Arabian guy, 6 feet in height, wearing traditional Arabic gown was waiting downstairs with his big plushy Landcruiser for me. Looking at the Car itself I guessed my trip was going to be one of the best travelling experiences I ever had. 😊
We started our journey after finishing up "introduction ceremony" with each other. Meanwhile 4 more people joined us for tour. Being first to be picked up I had grabbed the front seat in landcruiser which later proved to be the best place in Safari. With front seat you get the clear big view of desert in front of you and the best chance to shoot video and good pictures of other cars in "cafila" as well. Also you get an opportunity to interact with driver easily to know more wherever required.
I started bugging Mohammed with questions: "Where are we going? What is the name of the place?" Mohammed could speak okay English if not good. AL Awir was the name of the place we were visiting. 30 Kms away from Dubai, this is the place where actual desert starts and stretches it's boundaries up to far parts of UAE and touches OMAN.
We reached the place after half an hour journey on highway. It was a small break of 10 minutes at base camp for this tour organizer where around 10 landcruisers got together to start the actual DESERT RIDE. The tyre pressure of cars was reduced to cope up with softness of the sand.
The landcruiser started cruising in desert against immense resistance being created by softness of sand. Soon the monstrous machine picked up high speed with its strength and we were riding on desert sands up and down, on small n big waves, diving deep from top of the waves and climbing up small sand hills. It was altogether nice experience along with bit of excitement. The only thing I missed was; I couldn't drive the machine myself!
Soon we reached the desert resort where dinner and belly dance show was arranged. Welcome drink was Traditional "Kahwa" and tea. Kahwa is sort of black coffee. Me being coffee freak, enjoyed 4 - 5 cups of Kahwa w/o sugar in 2 hours duration. People started relaxing a bit and went for mehandi and "SASHA". Sasha is traditional Arabian flavoured smoking pipe similar to Indian HUKKA.
After an hours time, Arabian style grilled chicken and meat kebab were served along with some Indian veg food. I was surprised to see the dominating use of Indian food over western and Arabian food. Even Rajma Rice and Dal was available!!
Half an hour's passed by, people were relaxing after dinner and Belly Dancer's arrival was announced and in a flash, even before people would start to understand what's happening; the belly dancer arrived on stage wearing bright red Arabian belly suit and she literally took the stage by storm.