Driving and Biking

Today, my quest was to go to the East Coast of the UAE.  I was unsuccessful.  The guide book said take the E11 until the turnoff to Dhaid on the E88.  I never saw a sign to Dhaid or the E88 until I was well and truly stuck in traffic in Sharjah.  The book says “Sharjah can be hellish to navigate when driving” –as well as “and is gridlocked during peak hours” and “it is easy to get lost once you’re in the centre”.  I agree with all of that.  Left the office at 10.30 after catching up with the fam and did not get out of there until well after 12.  By this time, it was not worth heading over to the East Coast. 

Decided to head south-east towards Hatta ( I could find that sign at least) and drove into the desert.  Great to see the camels by the side of the road.  Each side of the road of the freeway has a high fence to stop the camels wandering onto the road.  The trees become more scarce the further away from the coast and the sand gets redder.  Stopped off at “Big Red” – about 60 km down the road and half way to Hatta.  It’s where  the rev-heads let the air down on the tyres of their 4WDs and do some dune-bashing.  It’s also where they hire quad bikes and I decided to give it a go.  Lots of fun for half an hour and I think that Tim will love to do this when he comes over.  There were jumps and lots of speed.  I managed to wreck one bike with a wheel that nearly came off so had to swap it for another which was more powerful – Great!!  Got the hang of it by the end.  David – you would have had trouble trying to do these dunes on your mountain bike and I know that it is very non environmentally sustainable of me but I am trying to embed myself in the culture! 

Quad BikingLuke in the desertcamel

On the way back, went a different way and experienced walking around some of the dunes amongst the trees – saw some nice parakeets in amongst these trees. 

Came back and got lost again when I tried to take a short cut after taking the wrong turn.  Note to self –do not take wrong turns and if you do, do not take short cuts.  Ended up coming back late and went for a swim followed by some clothes-washing, a run along the beach and then dinner and shopping at Ibn Battuta.  Went to the other end today to check out the cinemas and noticed they had a display of Zheng He – my favourite 15th century Chinese seafarer. 

Back to work tomorrow!

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One Response to “Driving and Biking”

  1. Head for the Hills! « Luke Naismith’s Dubai Adventure Says:

    […] Yesterday I went for a drive to the East Coast.  It was something I was going to do the other day but now armed with two road maps, compass, hat, binoculars, field guide and bathers, I was […]

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