February 11, 2015 – Wednesday – Liwa Oasis
2015 Gems of Arabia
Today we go on an early morning sunrise sand dune 4×4 adventure, and then again for sunset. Several vehicles get stuck in the sand, but eventually the drivers get them out either by towing, pushing, or rocking them. The morning sunrise is the most rewarding, since the light was just right, and our guide finds a relatively pristine location with no vehicle tracks or footprints visible.
I enjoyed hanging out during the midday at the Liwa Hotel. Several of us take advantage of the very nice pool at the hotel, which we have to ourselves. I have a nap in the afternoon, and then catch up with my journaling while drinking a cappuccino made in the lobby bar.
We visit a nearby camel farm in the late afternoon. Camels are used for meat, milk, and racing, and every Emirati family seem to own a camel, even city dwellers. One of our tour group samples the camel milk – a brave man, since there is no refrigeration.
The evening sand dune 4×4 adventure is not as rewarding as this morning, and it actually ends up being pretty stressful. The light at sunset is totally flat, and the wind is up causing sandstorm conditions. Our driver misses taking the correct track along one of the dunes, so our 4×4 ends up stopped, right on the edge of a big hole. I get out and climb uphill in the soft sand to the top of a dune to watch, as do my two vehicle mates. The expert is called, and drives the 4×4 out with pushers behind. Our guide Kais rides a snowboard down a sand dune, which is fun to watch!
Great memories, great photos!