The monthly weekend

Trip Start May 01, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United Arab Emirates  ,
Friday, May 16, 2008

That weekend was a two-day weekend... I get one each month! Normally I get only Fridays off, and once a
month I get the Saturday too. How great...

I wanted to go to AbuDhabi to visit old time friends there, but I decided trhat I could do that on a one day weekend. These two days I had to put to good use.

I hesitated between the east coast, on the Indian ocean, and the northen tip of the peninsula, in Oman, by the Strait of Ormuz, where the gulf meets the ocean in beautiful canals, formed by mountains falling into the water. Anyway, that was not where I chose to go yet.

Off on a highway, to the east, through desert first. But no sand dunes and camel desert, no. Just barren
land, not even yellow as the heat and sunlight bleach everything into white. Bushes here and there. A bit of life, but no explanation of how it can survive there.

And sometimes a city. Built as an oasis around a water well you can imagine. Imagine only, as you cross a few
well developed cities. No high rises, but a lot of concrete and still this impression of unreal place. But I had that in other places. Unlike in Dubai where the "out of the world" feeling comes from the wealth, here it arises rather from that perseverance of humans to build a place to live, against all odds, in a place that does not welcome them.

The coast, at last. Dibba, a city shared between the Emirates and Oman. Fishermen on the beach, having their lunch, under a blazing sun. The temperature of the air was so high, even under a shade you could feel your skin heating up. I discovered that, as I had feared and anticipated, a videocamera in hand is not the best tool to make new friends. There is a strange thing with filming, that you are entering the intimity of people, instead of just taking a still picture of one moment, of a scene that you could describe with words or pencils. Filming is too real. Filming reality is too raw.

I was a bit disappointed with Dibba, but headed south along the coast. A succession of beach resorts, either brand new, getting older, or still under construction. No real place for just hanging out. Venturing on you rown anywhere, without water, would be quite dangerous. The mountains I had had to cross, and which were bording the coast, were inhospitable, rocky. No sand, no life visible, just rock, broken into sharp stairs in any direction. I would have loved to go on top of a big hill, or small mountain. Would have to plan that for another time, or have a more rugged car. I did not trust my Mitsubishi lancer to take me up and down rocky trails.

I stopped by the ruins of some old Portuguese fort, which had previously been a set of watchtowers erected by the local tribes. Not much was left, and in the pure "heritage" style that is fashion around here, they had rebuilt the towers as they were supposed to be centuries ago.

Looking for a place to stay and a place to dive, I could find only expensive resorts. I had set off on my own, happy to just hit the road and see what would happen, but I was slowly realizing that I would have to stay in one of these resorts. I did not like that idea. I could not find the youth hostel that was supposed to be around there. Eventually I managed to get into a crappy motel. Actually it was not really crappy, just a bit old, but the service was perfect. Not quite crappy enough, haha. And still expensive, of course. I managed to get a shot of Drambuie at the bar, it was warm like hot, and you know how warm Drambuie just infiltrates through your nose and throat and sinuses and maybe osmoses directly into your brains.
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