Once the many platefuls of food and delicious roti were eaten at a cost of 61AED (£11) for 6 of us, it was time to travel by blacktop to the Liwa Hotel where all the group were staying overnight.
*Someone* suggested that everyone meet at the carpark at 4.45am the next morning so we could head off to a secret location to see the sun rise over some majestic dunes and to dig for desert roses.
|Photo Credit: Maira Suarez
A bedouin camel farm had sprung up since I was last there in April so the camel lovers had a bonus photo opportunity. Finding the desert roses was easy, there were so many of them; some of our members were determined to unearth massive ones which took some serious digging effort.
When the trip joining instructions were sent out one of the suggestions was “take a hand sweeping brush” – now our group knew why!
All the drivers trickled back to the hotel for a tasty breakfast eaten outside on the terrace before spending the next 4 hours sleeping/swimming/sunbathing.
|Image from Hotel’s own website
The next activity was a drive through the wonderful smooth, cafe latte coloured dunes around Madinat Zayed. We assembled at the ADNOC Misairah at 2.30pm before driving to the fodder farm and finding a shady spot for deflation.
Now we could see the sand the next challenge was to get our cars over to it – the Bruces managed a double stuck which had everyone smiling and reaching for their cameras!
We were quickly extracted from our predicament, split into two convoys, one of 5 and the other 6, and made cracking progress over the easy smooth dunes. Our first waypoint was a spectacular bowl we’d found on a previous visit to the area, a big 40m slipface with a moderate but smooth climb out. For many of our drivers, this was by far the largest obstacle they had been faced with but all tackled it successfully in style!
|Photo Credit: Maira Suarez
Once back at the road we reinflated and raced back to the hotel for a delicious buffet dinner which we had pre-arranged. The Liwa Hotel is great but not so busy at this time of year and it might have stretched their kitchen staff a bit too far if a table of 21 had just turned up. As it was we all had a great meal while we exchanged stories about our day’s adventures.
|Photo Credit: Irene Cruikshanks
We then made a quick visit to the “Plateau” and “Green Lake” finally hitting the road which travels parallel to the Saudi border before it hangs a left just before the Oman border fence.
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