Thursday, June 26, 2008

Remembering my desert adventure

Couple of years ago I was visiting UAE and took the opportuity to participate in a day long desert drive, dune bashing and belly dancing package tour. That was in 2005, my first time outside India and in the real desert. Though I had visited Deserts in Rajasthan, it was different to be in a developed desert where even the restrooms and toilets were air-conditioned and where wild camels roamed around.

Dune bashing is also referred to as "White water rafting of desert" because it gives so much thrill and adrenalin rush to participants. I rode a buggy as well, up and down sand dunes rising dust storms wherever I went.

Riding a buggy in the desert

Then the real dune bashing was done seated inside the plush comfort of a monstrous Toyota Landcruiser driven by a Lebanese driver who expertly manouvered the SUV up and down sand dunes. There were instances were my heart leapt to my mouth and I felt certain that our vehicle would tumble like a match box down the high unsteady sand dunes in the middle of nowhere. After a few years I remember those memories with a rush of excitment whenever I look at the pictures.

Neogitating dunes, the land cruisers are really good at it
Convoys of land cruisers approaching a big dune

Of course I enjoyed watching the Belly dancer gyrating to the beat of desert music. Few other tourists enjoyed dancing with her while I contented myself photographing them.

Enjoying the performance of Belly Dancer and an inebrieted guest

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