The dunes and deserts

Al Ain Travel Blog

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Shadows on the dunes

My first experience with the deserts was shortly after I had arrived in Dubai. I went on a desert safari trip where visitors were brought out to the deserts in 4 wheel drives to enjoy some dune bashing, watching the sunset followed by a dinner at one of the camps entertained by some belly dancing. It was a first nice experience on the desert and I actually liked the vastness of the deserts.

In the following year, taking advantage of the cool weather in February and wanting to experience the vastness and solitude of the deserts without the usual horde of tourists, we drove out of Dubai in the direction of Hatta and somewhere along the way turning off in the direction of Al Ain.

A walk on the big dunes
Over here, deserts cover both sides of the highway.

Somewhere along the way, we turned off to a smaller road and drove until the end of the gravel road where my car could not go further onto the sand. I fell in love with the place immediately as the desert was away from the highway and what one could see was the vastness of the place with lots of big and beautiful sand dunes. On top of any of the big dunes, one could see the mountains on the horizon and a camel farm some distance away. The weather was slightly overcast on that day with some gusty winds. It even drizzled a little! I had a great time running up and down the dunes.

In the late afternoon, a herd of camels came walking out of the desert back to the farm some distance away. It was an interesting sight.

Camels crossing the dunes
We were invited to visit the camel farm after the owner who was driving to his farm saw me carrying a watermelon from my car and disappeared up the sand dunes.  He must be wondering profusely what a woman with a watermelon would be doing out in the desert??!! As we were just cutting up our melon, we heard a 4 wheel drive coming up the sand dunes and that was the local I saw earlier. He was really friendly, came up and chatted with us. We invited him to share our watermelon and in turn, he invited us to go to his farm.

He and his brother had in total about 40 camels. Some of them were racing camels costing US$10,000 each. They even explained about camel milk what got us really curious. On the way home, we bought a bottle to try and all I could say was, “yucks!”

I had meanwhile gone back there several times with friends and everyone just loved the vastness and the beauty of this place. My friends would usually give me a look of disbelief when I told them that we would walk towards and climb the biggest dune we see in this desert.  Everyone would give me a look of disbelief, struggled initially but made it up to the top finally. And they would be so thankful thereafter for the great fun and experience!

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Shadows on the dunes
Shadows on the dunes
A walk on the big dunes
A walk on the big dunes
Camels crossing the dunes
Camels crossing the dunes
The sand dunes
The sand dunes
Mohamad, the camel farm owner
Mohamad, the camel farm owner
Camels going back to the farm
Camels going back to the farm
Raindrops!!!
Raindrops!!!
The strong winds and the shifting …
The strong winds and the shifting…
Dunes and clouds
Dunes and clouds
The desert vegetation
The desert vegetation
Vast desert, patterns on the dunes…
Vast desert, patterns on the dune…
Start of the hike up the dunes
Start of the hike up the dunes
Still on the way up
Still on the way up
Struggling along?!!
Struggling along?!!
Footsteps on the dunes
Footsteps on the dunes
Desert models??
Desert models??
Happy with the sand dune experienc…
Happy with the sand dune experien…
Come on, bury me with the sand!
Come on, bury me with the sand!
Sand spa :-)
Sand spa :-)
In action ... running up and down …
In action ... running up and down…
Sunset and time to go home
Sunset and time to go home
Al Ain
photo by: mountaingirl