The Dubai desert safari – the routine tourist excursion – blew me right out of the sand. Bevan severely understated the safari, and I love this about him. Throwing his hat in the ring for a sixth time (poor guy) taking a visitor, he stated firmly that he was retiring his safari tripping after taking me. His understandably lacklustre mention of the day's trip and his eye-rolling did nothing much in the way of building anticipation. But he did that on purpose to surprise the hell out of me.
Many cars in the UAE beep when the driver reaches 120. Our car would beep continually, and many times the driver just went faster. He stopped to let air out of each tire. Huh?? Less air in the tires allows the truck, a Toyota Land Cruiser, better traction in the sand. Still unsure what was unfolding, we joined other tourists by their trucks on the edge of the desert. I could see tire tracks crisscrossing in the sand.
By the time we stopped my shorts had jolted right up my butt.
I looked at Bevan – you dawg! I had no clue it would be this great. He smiled big and buried my flip flops. Score another one for the tour guide.
I jump on a camel. “Hold on tightly,” the leader says. Suddenly I am propelled back as the camel gets up from its perch. The ol’ girl brings me around and I almost take a header in the sand as it sits back down with a giant thud. I then get my finger decorated in henna, watch a pretty wild show of traditional Arabic spinning and belly dancing, eat a plate of Arabic food, get the henna all over my sweatshirt and call it a night. An unforgettable one at that.
TIP: Sorry about this spoiler, but you must go on a desert safari. I would recommend Arabian Nights Tours as I have only good things to say. Wear flip flops so you can play around in the sand barefoot and not sand-up your shoes. Bring warm clothes for the desert at night. Prepare to get a wedgie in the car! Not for the faint-of-stomach.