3:00pm has arrived and we are buzzed in our room from reception to inform us that our driver has arrived. Oh my god, this is really happening…. All I can think is “I’m going to die!!!”
We arrive downstairs and meet another couple and two girls also from our hotel that will be joining us. By the way, did I mention due to the stress of saying yes to doing this I have a humungous headache!
So we all get comfy in the huge 8 seater 4WD and we chose the back which is good because it was only us. (no one can see the horror on my face – except the driver but I’m hoping he will have his eyes on the sand and not on me) and settle in for the 1 hour or so drive to the start of our Duning.
So here I am absolutely petrified and I look over at Merv and he is ASLEEP!!!! Well that’ll teach him …. KARMA!!!
We finally arrive and I wake Merv and we get out at the meeting point for all of the 4WD’s including a black Hummer that will partake in the Convoy. We take a walk around and Merv gets an Arab hat which I think is called a Keffiyah which is made from a scarf while I get my photo taken with a Falcon on my arm which was really cool.
It’s really just a pit stop before taking off and has a couple stores, a lot of peacocks (which I no longer like since the almost murder situation in Kuala Lumpur), a couple donkeys (including a baby one), a monkey, camels, horses and also somewhere you can hire Quad Bikes and go dune bashing on Quads before going dune bashing with the big boys.
So we take a break, have some water and I get a Keffiyah (wrapped in the style for women) take some photos and then we are ushered back to the car to start our convoy of dune bashing!
The drivers let down their tyres so that it’s easier to control and I say to Merv “I hope he is a really good driver” and Merv jokingly says to me “It’s probably his first time!” Which obviously makes me even more (mind the language) SHIT scared!
And we are off…. And my eyes are closed and I’m holding on for dear life and praying that I don’t die and make it to the end and I’m not exaggerating Its really scary!!!! I peek out through a half open eye and see we are on the side of a big huge dune on an unnatural angle and I quickly close my eyes again and pray harder.
It’s a lot of jumping, skidding, sliding and Merv was having the best time whooping, and wooing, and laughing (Until he bangs his camera on his knee and it stops working – See KARMA!!!) but still he enjoys it.
We are allowed to stop and get out every now and then to admire the view and take photos but once that’s over its back in the car and its back to closing my eyes tightly and holding on for dear life.
Once when we had a break Merv said to the driver, “So you get a lot of practice coming here all the time, you must be a good driver.” And guess what he said …. I’m not kidding …. “This is my first time!” Ahhhhhh!!!!! Now I don’t know if he heard our conversation from earlier and was being funny OR if he says it all the time to be funny OR if its really true and it was his first time, I could not wait until this day was over!!!
We finally arrive at our destination and the driving is over thank god (for now anyway) and we walk into a fenced open space with a stage in the centre that is surrounded by small tables on the floor and cushions everywhere and little stations with things to do or get a drink or something to eat.
We choose our seats, and Merv heads to the Shisha lounge and I go get a henna tattoo on my hand from a cute really old lady and make my way to the shisha lounge to find Merv chatting with Americans puffing on Shisha and looking so relaxed.
Included in our day was a buffet meal of traditional/western food which we had to line up for and get our servings of mains, fruit and a traditional desert that was a little weird but yummy. We headed back to our seats to eat and then the lights were dimmed and a young guy entered the stage.
He was dressed in what appeared to be traditional clothes but looked like he had a skirt on over pants and then he started to spin. And spin and spin and as he did his skirt fanned out and he made shapes and took them off and put them back on, some had lights that looked really cool with the different shapes he did and the whole time he was spinning. He didn’t stop for about 15 – 20 minutes and then when he stopped he didn’t even look like he had been spinning at all. (You know when you’re a kid and you spin in a circle and then you stop and can’t find your balance) well his balance was perfect.
After he left the stage we had a lady come on stage and do some belly dancing also dressed in traditional belly dancing attire which was really cool. She put on a great show and even pulled people from the audience to do it with her.
Once she was finished it was time to go…. Oh man back to the Cars ….. I was feeling a little better thinking that now that is was dark the driver would driver normally but NO!!!! he was even worse than before, skidding and sliding and jumping over ditches all while there are about 50 other cars doing the same thing IN THE DARK!!!!
When we got back to the highway it was normal driving hallelujah but the girls were annoyed that he hadn’t done that kind of driving the whole time. (Inside I’m thanking god for listening to my prayers).
We made it back to the hotel safe and sound (still with a headache) climbed into bed and slept like a baby, although I’m sure I probably had car dreams but was very happy to be alive.
On the plus side….. I am no longer afraid to be in cars!