A visit to the Rainbow Sheikh

We had another epic journey on Saturday, this time we wanted to visit our friend Dhammike who works near Himeem, and drop in past the Rainbow Sheikh’s museum on the way home, a mere 500kms including 100kms offroad.

We drove down the highway from Al Ain to Al Qua’a, then crossed the desert via sand track.  A sandtrack is exactly what it says – the above photo was taken on our last trip this way, you may notice that the sand was wet then, but this week it was dry so it was down to 15psi for us and 4H all the way.  It wasn’t very busy, only met two cars in over 100kms – but one still has to take care and pay attention, something the driver of this Landcruiser probably wasn’t doing

Another “Automus Erectus” for my band of mad friends?  (Probably not, as it is in the middle of nowhere and it’s at the top of a steep drop.)

The main reason for travelling this way was to see the lovely dunes at the edge of the Liwa area, and also to find and photograph some wildlife

The Arabian Oryx in the wild – they weren’t too bothered by us

Also saw lots of gazelle, at this time of the year they are easy to find as they rest in the shade of the trees.

Trees in the desert?  There are acres of tree plantations miles from anywhere.  They probably decided to plant them there since there was a water supply “on tap” here

All too soon the main road was in sight and it was time to go and see Dhammike then onwards to the Emirates National Auto Museum.  We have been here lots of times over the last few years – it used to be free but now the entry fee is 50aed, but well worth it.

According to the website it is open every day but currently it is shut on a Sunday, so you are better to call first and confirm opening times – e-commerce has far to go here but it no doubt will once businesses understand the full benefits and communication potential of an up-to-date website.  ENAM website and phone numbers 050 829 3952 and 02-6676999.

There are plenty of photos on the website, so here’s some snippets from the ones I took – do you know which car they belong to?

If someone turned up on one of my offroad trips with one of these I would feign sudden illness!

The best desert car in the world.  Probably!  Wonder if it would pass annual inspection with this fender ornament?

Are the airhorns to scare the oryx?

Now that’s a hood ornament and a half!

Another iconic hood ornament

Though probably trumped by this illuminated one from 1942

Note the gold plated door handle and trim!

and finally, isn’t this just the most amazing paint job?  Wonder how much money/wasta I would need to get my patrol painted up like this and through the annual test?

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