Desert Safari Quadbike Crashes & Camels

Trip Start Mar 14, 2008
Trip End Mar 20, 2008

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Flag of United Arab Emirates  ,
Friday, April 11, 2008

Al Ain is a very clean and spacious city in the province of Abu Dhabi. It's the site of an oasis that would have vitally served desert dwellers before the advent of desalination plants now transforming the Arabian Gulf into drinkable water. The area was a nice change from the endless construction, hustle and traffic of Dubai. We performed at Al Ain's technical university where students from the various Gulf states competed against each other and compared their technical expertise. Our shows marked the onset and finale of the event, which spanned five days, so we had time in between to relax and enjoy as well as rehearse.

The guys running the agency that brought us over are really really cool. They took us on a totally wild desert safari on one of the days off, as well as for a relaxing bathe in the healthy hot springs near Al Ain on another afternoon. They were so hospitable and I'd love to plug their agency but will settle for saying a big "thank you" to Kal and Emad for an awesomely memorable time.

The desert safari was an experience that I'd recommend to anyone hanging out in the Emirates. Honestly, we had so much fun cheering and screaming as the V8 4WD's plunged recklessly through the dunes. It was like surfing crossed with a roller-coaster ride on waves of sand and our drivers were real profis with ultra-cool attitudes and even cooler sunglasses. See the videos for an idea of the squealing that was going on inside those vehicles at the time.

After this bout of ballistic dune-bashing we were ready to captain a couple of quad bikes of our own. Taking turns, each of us set out for our very own adventure in the undulating sand. Some of us had no previous experience and didn't end up getting too far, while others got the hang of it quickly and burned rubber amongst the crests and troughs of shifting desert. It was really cool. I carved up the dunes and got airborn twice off a really nice little jump. I also crashed as I came too fast over one dune and was plunged into a valley. I flew off the bike, landed hard on my arm and then the bike landed moments later by doing a complete roll over the top of me. It bashed into the back of my leg with all its weight and left me badly bruised for about two weeks afterwards. Still it was worth it as it was the first time I ever fully rolled a vehicle. Luckily the bike landed upright and I was able to get it out of there without anyone suspecting a thing.

Minutes later Emad crashed in the very same spot and landed completely upside-down. He reappeared soon after, waving frantically from the top of a dune. The Arabic drivers drove out there and together they got the bike back upright, completely relaxed about everything. I'm sure we weren't the first people to crash their quads. It was really a blast - check out the videos.

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