10.26.07 – From the Beach to the Desert Safari


It’s been hard to get on these past few days because all of the computer stations  I’ve been to have blocked all the sites I needed to get on. Thanks for being patient. I have also added a few pictures in previous blogs…whatever time allows. It feels like I’m so limited to online access everywhere but I am in good health and spirits so please don’t worry 🙂

Friday evening will go down in my history book as one of the best days I’ve ever lived. The beach in Dubai was amazing. Just to be able to say that I’ve been to the beach in Dubai was a big deal to me. After the beach we headed back to the hotel to clean up a bit then we headed to the sunset safari. This was something we had been looking forward to since the trip began! We met  our driver “Sunil” who is originally from southern India. He reminded me of our good Rebel Crew friend named Wazulu. He produced the song on my album “Back to Bombay” which has a Banghara Hip Hop sound to it. Sunil drives a Toyota Landcruiser and lucky for us he turned out to be a pretty awesome stunt driver 🙂 Fareed hooked up a super rate for us to go to the safari – 200 dirhams which  converts to $55 American dollars. The money exchange has been a little confusing but in U.A.E. dirhams our dollar is 3.67 of theirs…yikes!

Sunil said we had some time to kill before the safari so he took us to the “Dragon Market” which was on the way to the safari. The Dragon Market was an enormous shopping place where vendors (mostly Asian) sold lots of knock-off designer stuff – watches, purses, clothing, bedding, sunglasses, and so much more! The knock-off’s actually looked real too! Some of the best I’ve ever seen. We spend half an hour there then Sunil rounded us up to get to the desert!

Half an hour later we were arrived at our destination! Sunil zipped through the desert like it was his home. We saw more vehicles there with the same “Planet Tours” signs on their SUV’s. There were about 15 SUV’s which would make this a sort of caravan safari. All of the drivers got out of their vehicles to take the pressure out of their tires. This made it easier to slip and slide through the sand and your tires would not get stuck on the dunes. We could not believe we were finally going to experience the desert! We got back in the Landcruiser and our joyride began. Sunil told us to buckle up. He had rollover bars and he said he had actually turned over once in the past. Wooo scary! He said he had been driving for 10-years so I wasn’t too concerned. We love an adventure! He had it on a local Dubai radio station that had a really good mix show of hip hop and dance music. This is the kind of selection none of the stations play back home so we were all getting into it! Sunil sped through sand dunes and slid his Landcruiser up and down the desert. We went up, down, around, back up again. It was so topsy turvy, I had knots in my stomach! But it was soooo fun! He had really good control of his ride too. You can tell he had been driving for a long time and he had gotten used to all the controls on the vehicle. There’s nothing like a good stunt driver! Our reactions were “Ahhhhh!” and we could not stop laughing and giggling the whole time from Sunil’s fun ride. He would speed up and slow down over a sand dune then he would pick up the speed as we went down. We saw a few SUV’s from the caravan get stuck at the top of the sand dunes! Too bad for them…designated vehicles would come to their aid while we kept rolling! This was definitely the highlight of our trip and we hadn’t even gotten to the half of the safari!

Our drive lasted for over an hour then he drove us to a tropical oasis looking location where there were little huts and camels! We would finally get our camel ride! We tried to take pictures with them at first and the flash must’ve alarmed them because one of them hopped on all fours and went chasing after Cruz who took the picture. We could not stop laughing! Jon Durbin and I were the first ones to hop on a camel  since it had to be two at a time. He laid on his belly so we could mount on his saddle then suddenly he picks his body up onto his legs. The shock made me do a high pitched squeal. You don’t realize how long their legs are until you’re actually sitting on one! My expression in the pictures is priceless! The camel took us in a big circle then brought us back. It was a lot like riding a tall horse but this ride was a little smoother and his “hump” didn’t make a difference. I had the same shock as he dropped on his belly so we could jump off. I will be sure to post hte pictures asap.

We headed inside the tropical area and drank some Arabic coffee which was sort of like bland tea. You’re supposed to eat a small sweet fruit with a seed when you sip the coffee and this adds just the right amount of sweetness with every sip. After that we smoked some apple flavored hooka then we headed to the sand skiiing. At first I didn’t think I could do it but then i saw little kids doing it and it looked sooo fun! It was hard to push off the slope but it turned out to be like skateboarding until I got to the bottom and flopped on my back. There’s nothing worse then wearing a halter-top and having sand get all the way down your backside! The next station we went to had the Arabic clothing where we all got dressed up. I put on a burka that covered me entirely except for my eyes. You could tell by my eyes I was not am authentic Muslim woman.

Finally we got to the dinner porition and we were so hungry! We ate some Arabic food that included salad, rice, beef/chicken kebabs, curry, goat and possibly camel! It was really good too! Last but not least we watched a really exotic belly dancer which made the boys enchanted 😉  Then it was time to go! The safari was a great treat that we all had been looking forward to.  It definitely made up for the last 2 weeks of hustle and bustle. The next day we had to be up early to get back to Al-Dahfra Air Force base to take a tour all day saturday then perform on sunday.  Check out my next blog for more details 🙂


2 Responses to “10.26.07 – From the Beach to the Desert Safari”

  1. 1 Valerie

    I was SO worried about you!! Glad to know you’re okay… keep writing, you’ll be back home in no time!!

  2. 2 Jackie

    I can’t wait to see the pics! Ahh, I bet the camels were really cool too! =)

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