We slept in – or at least tried to. Housekeeping knocked on our door at 7am? Who does that? But we managed to fall back asleep for a few hours before we crawled out of our beds.
Since we arrived in the dark last night we explored the hotel and the grounds. The sun was out and the grounds are really beautiful – a lot of pools and a surprising amount of green for being out in the desert. We are staying at the Bab Al Shams Resort and Spa (http://www.jumeirahbabalshams.com )
Breakfast was a little bit of an adventure, plus it was an all-you-can-eat buffett which are evil :). Besides the traditional breakfast fare, we had camel milk, veal bacon, chicken sausage, A LOT of prunes (do they know something that I don’t) and a smoothie bar!
After breakfast and more strolling, we headed back to the room, changed into our conservative, one-piece bathing suits and lounged by the pool. Jenny got a massage poolside while I read a cheesy romance novel (hush - I am on vacation!!). We enjoyed attentive service by our own cabana boy who was bringing us $6 diet cokes (yikes!!)
After a few hours of fun in the sun, then it was time to get ready for our Arabian Adventure tour. We left that hotel around 4 and after a 30-minute drive with our Pakistani driver and 4 other tourists, we ended up at the Sand Dunes and the fun began.
First step of dunbe-bashing is to let air out of all four tires on the SUV (Chevy Tahoe) so that you can properly slide on the sand. We spent the next 30 minutes off-roading in an off-road vehicle, exploring sand dunes. There were 15 cars in our caravan and we followed the car in front of while our “professional” driver took us through various stunts, like sliding down hill sideways, nose diving off the top of a dune, kicking up sand higher than the vehicle, roaring up a hill – all in a Chevy Tahoe! Thank goodness for seat belts and roll bars!
After the dune-bashing, we stopped for pictures and to watch the sunset. It was quite beautiful to see the sun set below the tunes – we got some great pictures and took a few minutes to calm out stomachs!
Then it was back in the car for a short-ride to base camp where we spent the rest of the evening riding camels, eating dinner, watching a belly dancer and Jenny smoked honey-flavored shisha.
The camels were bigger than I expected. But we were up for the adventure and Jenny and I climbed on one for our short ride together. Riding the camel was understandably bumpy, but the most adventurous part of the ride was being on the camel while he/she/it stood up! I thought we were going to fall off! But we lived to tell the tale and will ride another day.
Next on the agenda was dinner, which was okay. Nothing gourmet, but yummy nonetheless. I *think* it was chicken…. The Belly Dancer was entertaining and worked the crowd a bit. Jenny also bought some local artwork and then we were back in the SUV for the ride to our hotel.
Kathleen, under the influence of Dramamine (in preparation for dune-bashing), crashed and went to sleep. Jenny, being the more adventurous of the two and not in a Dramamine-induced coma, went to the rooftop bar and listened to Arabic guitar player and enjoyed the local scenary.
So now we are ready for day three!