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  • Writer's pictureErin Paulsen

Into the Desert

The UAE pt. 2

Lorenza, Myself, Sylvia

Our final full day in the UAE was without a doubt one of the best days of my life. If you have never experienced the desert before, you are truly missing out. I recommend you plan a desert adventure as soon as possible. The Safari adventure began around 3 p.m. when our guide and driver was supposed to pick us up from our apartment. He was a little behind schedule, so I called and asked like, where are you? He arrived shortly after and we headed off to pick up another group of guests. For some reason Lorenza and Sylvia insisted that I sit in the front seat, I'm still not sure why, but I felt like I clicked with the driver immediately.

After picking up the other family we made the hour long drive into the desert. The music playing was perfectly suited to get you into that desert mood, chill arabic tunes and melodies...

We were caught off guard when the dune bashing began. Giant sand dunes like waves came up out of nowhere, and there we were flying up and over them with serious speed. It's basically like a roller coaster, and you are trying to find anything possible to hold on to so you don't fly out of your seats. I think it was then that I noticed all the handle bars in the car had been ripped off.... good sign. After the first bit of adventurous dune bashing we stopped somewhere in the middle of nowhere to get out and play and take pictures in the sand. I love the sand, of all types, colors, and from all different landscapes. Being surrounded by a sea of sand was like heaven for me. I hopped out of the car, took my shoes off and immediately began twirling around in circles. Kicking up sand as I spun, I felt the warm breeze dancing through my hair and the sun shining on my skin. I never wanted to leave! My next order of business was to climb to the top of the tallest dune around, and pencil roll all the way to the bottom. I wanted to smother myself in the sand and wrap myself up in it as tightly as I could. It was pure freedom. The ascent back up the dune was daunting, but the roll down was worth every moment of exhausting climbing afterwards. We made the rest of the ride over the dunes screaming and squealing all the way until we finally reached our camp. There were giant camels to ride and the biggest dune we had seen so far to climb up and sandboard back down again. Before the shows were to begin (belly dancing, tandoura, etc.) we were sitting on top of the dune taking photos when we noticed the full moon rising up over the horizon. We had no idea the moon would be full that evening and it was the shining jewel in the splendor of our desert experience.

Full Moon Rise

After dancing on stage and spinning around in traditional Egyptian costumes we finished our evening with a shisha session laying back on the sand and watching the moon light up the night and drown out the stars. I think we would have stayed the whole night out there if we hadn't had to take the other group of guests back to their hotel. The drive home was full of conversation with our driver, Mohammed, and he told me wild stories of his travels and adventures around the world. He even serenaded us with his favorite Spanish tunes. We sang along happily and reveled in every memory of the day.

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