Monday, April 2, 2012

Visitor Adventures: Desert Safari

The Desert Safari is one of the most popular tourist adventures over here. First, you do some dune bashing, which is basically driving up and down the sand dunes in a Land Cruiser, hanging on for dear life, and hoping and praying the driver doesn't roll the truck. My dad asked our driver if he had ever rolled a truck, and the driver just nodded quickly and silently - I don't think you're supposed to ask them that until AFTER you're safely finished with the ride.

Dune bashing is not for the feint of heart or the sensitive of stomach, and if you've got a bad back, forget about it. I, personally, am not a fan of the dune bashing as I tend to get car sick and just don't enjoy fearing for my life in that way, but our visitors loved it. I'm not sure everyone would do it a second time, but they loved it. :)

During a break in the bashing (to let the trucks cool off a bit, I'm sure), we stopped at what seemed to be a camel farm. Lots of friendly camels very willing to be on film.

Back for some more bashing (ugh).

Next on the agenda were the camel rides. Pretty short, but an experience nonetheless. The ride's not so bad it's the getting on and getting off that's the real adventure!

And then it was off to the BBQ - complete with belly dancer, henna painting, shisha smoking and a wonderful Arabic buffet. A good time was had by all as you can see in the photos.

 Henna is a powdered plant material mixed with water and then 'drawn' on your skin to make designs or 'tattoos'. You let it dry for about 20 minutes and the stain on your skin lasts about 2 weeks.
Shisha is flavored tobacco and is smoked through a hooka pipe, which you can't see in the photo. We had apple flavor and had a laugh at everyone trying to smoke without coughing.

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