sand

DESTINATION DUBAI – Part 2

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DESTINATION DUBAI – Part 2

THE DESERT SAFARI

If you have read Part 1 of my trip at Sukanya’s Blog (https://sukanyaramanujan.wordpress.com/2015/05/28/guest-post-destination-dubai-by-mathangi-jeyabal/)

– let’s take off from where we stopped last. While locals at Dubai might not really be gung ho about the Desert Safari (they must have done it a zillion times) – as a tourist , it is something that you cannot miss. There are innumerable choices to book a desert safari – right from something that looks really affordable to the ones that make your eyes pop out (are they throwing in a camel for free or what?). Jokes apart – read the reviews and pick the one that suits your budget and maybe a bit more. We went with Orient Tours , and I was happy with the whole experience as you might infer on further reading of this post.

If you fix a slightly upscale option – you get picked up from your residence in the vehicle of your choice (we got a really smooth Land cruiser / you can even opt for a Hummer) and are driven to the outskirts of the city. You pretty much observe the well planned out city’s landscapes fading out as you enter desert territory – arid conditions, prickly bushes and miles and miles of nothingness. You get a pit stop – where you can stock up on some snacks / coffee etc and then you go further into the land of fantastic sand dunes.

You are really not prepared for the first experience of dune bashing as they call it – where your driver simply plunges vehicle et al right from the top of the sand dune till the bottom. Once you get used to it – you secretly start wishing the dunes get higher and higher and your drop gets steeper and steeper. Your driver will stop at half point to let some air out of the tires so as to get a better grip driving up slope. Its no fun when you are halfway up there and realize you are tumbling back down uncontrollably. Its useful to check on the cars that go ahead (there are many of them that stick to a particular route) – to have a fair idea of what’s coming next.

Did the car behind ya get stuck?
Did the car behind ya get stuck?
Steep fall
Tracks ahoy !
Tracks ahoy !

Your tourist and Facebook friendly driver lets you get out at the most photo friendly spots – giving you sufficient time for selfies/ groupfies and what not!

Groupfie time! Random tourists
Groupfie time! Random tourists

The sand surprisingly is not so hot to your bare feet and is almost silky smooth. There are many almost virgin sand dunes, where your footprints do leave the first imprints making you hope it stays there embedded in the sands of time ( wishful thinking eh ?) Kids and adults just go crazy here deciding to climb up and slide down – forget inhibitions and think childhood memories .

Footprints in the sands of time...
Footprints in the sands of time…

Post play time is a visit to the camel farm, a chance to see some exotic, fat lipped “Camelus dromedaries”, lazily chewing something and giving you the shifty eye. They are willing to be petted and photographed with and are absolutely friendly.

Camelus Dromedarius - yep its a camel!
Camelus Dromedarius – yep its a camel!

Your last stop is the actual camp at the desert. As the sun sets, you are under the vast skies , in small tents – you can either put your feet up and relax, or go sand dune sledding, get your hands painted with henna, hold a captive falcon, get a hookah fix,watch some sand art before dinner is served. Sadly there are not many options for the vegan or vegetarian population, but if you like your proteins (read meat) you are in for a treat. The food was good, the activities make you tired and you are ready to call it a day – when you are invited to a treat of some Arabian music, traditional dances including a voluptuous belly dance.

Henna time
Henna time
Dinner is served!
Dinner is served!
This guy did quite a number...
This guy did quite a number…
And so did she !
And so did she !
The sun sets over the desert ... time to wrap up!
The sun sets over the desert … time to wrap up!

. As you get dropped at your residence you sleep well happy in the thought that it was a day well spent.

My next post is about the extravagant gold souks and enchanting spice markets… don’t forget to watch out for this space…

A day at the Beach

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The beaches in Madras are usually a flurry of activity – serving both as a poor man’s paradise as well as a hangout for the hip types too. People across all age groups do find their own thing to do – when you end up at the beach. Read a book, talk to a friend, wait impatiently for someone, stare at the waves lashing the shore, munch on some snacks, play awhile, shop for some toys, or just lie down and sleep. My thing was to capture some interesting moments during my visit to the Beach …

This was the first picture I clicked. This little boy was so excited to feel the sand beneath his feet. Where was he running to?
Guess he wanted to join his playmates, who were in serious thought. Which one shall we buy?
Colourful giant wheel and the small merry-go-round
Waiting for business to pick up...
This one is strong enough for both children and adults
This protective brother takes care of his sister as she gingerly wades through the water
While this young man seemed to be waiting expectantly for a text...
The fishermen go about their work
And so does this man, selling sweets by the waves
Some just-cooked corn. Watch the sparks fly!
A spicy chilly snack.. not for the faint-hearted...
Why are you taking my picture?
This little girl finds some time for her studies,while she takes care of her shop. Part-time worker or Entrepreneur?
These horses cross paths, searching for the next customer...One seems to have met with some success
This guy tries his hand at some chin-ups as his family cheers him on...
Business seems to have picked up at the merry -go-round
As well as the giant wheel. The guy up top is bigger than the "giant" wheel
The devil's advocate here seems to wait for the dark, so that he may show off his glowing horns!
As darkness sets in, this man sets upon the dangerous task of setting right the lights at the beach for the benefit of all!

The beach by night? Well that is a topic for just another post 🙂