On the flight to Dubai I was talking to one of the air stewards and he happened to mention the desert safari. I have always wanted to do it, but wasn’t even considering it in this heat. Forty two degrees during the day time and 39 at night didn’t sound like a time to be out in the desert. Apparently he has done this trip about 20+ times and said that it was fine to do it now and gave me the name of a tour company. The hotel also used the same company and so we booked the tour through them. The pick up time was around 4 and we had plenty of time to kill.
The Dubai Mall is about 20 minutes walk from the hotel, but in this heat walking to the mall is a near impossible task and so we took a taxi. After a lot of window shopping, we shared an ice cream for lunch and headed back to the hotel. We had a heavy late breakfast and couldn’t actually face any more food. We were warned not to go on the trip with a full stomach. The driver also showed me his stack of plastic bags in case of emergency. So I suppose the warnings are true.
In the end the jeep ride through the sand dunes was not as bad as I thought. Maybe the driver was being gentle with us. I declined the quad bike ride in the desert. The charges were too much, but more than that I didn’t think that getting myself fried in the process was a good idea. He said we might regret it. I have lots of regrets in my life, but this will not be one of them.
The evening dinner and belly dancing was something we could have done without. The Bedouin trip that we did in Egypt was far better in this respect. Later on the driver told us that the delay in serving food was because they were waiting for some VIPs from the Indian embassy, who kept us waiting.
The driver had to stop the jeep to help another guy whose jeep got stuck in the sand due to a leak in the tyre. He said that the other driver didn’t seem to have a clue about what he was doing and didn’t even have the right equipment. He said that this had happened to him once four years ago, when he got stranded in the desert with a couple. No one stopped to help him and it took him over an hour and a half to change the tyre in the searing midday heat. Since then he always stops to help anyone regardless of whether they are from his company or not. So it really is important to chose the tour company you are using for these trips.
So now I can cross this off my bucket list. Only another 147 things to do before I die.