Riding the dunes

“Dune-bashing” (as I later found out is something only the tourists call it) is going out into the desert with a group of expert drivers in their Jeeps (or other monster trucks) jumping from dune to dune, surfing the sand. Although there is no ocean view, there is something thrilling about waiting to take on the dunes in an 4-wheel drive. I was lucky enough to be the only passenger in the group of six, riding with a 60-something-year-old mechanic with almost 45 years of driving experience. He manipulated that sand as if he created it himself. “Don’t let dezert play wiz you; YOU play wiz dezert,” he said in a thick Syrian-Armenian accent.

The fun started before we even hit the dunes when falconers showed up and let me hold a beautiful falcon, a grass-covered wrap protecting my skin from his razor sharp claws. Such a beautiful animal, his marble eyes matching his dark brown, perfectly patterned feathers.

We also drove by a mother and her new born camel, who calmly watched as we drove through her oasis. I missed them, but another driver also saw gazelles, leaping off into the distance.

See the camels on the left, not bothered at all by us

We got out a couple of times, taking in the gorgeous Arabian desert view. Nothing but sand for miles all around, shade from the sun adding to the colours of the already perfect photograph.

So if you’re ever in the Arabian desert, I highly recommend this beautiful adrenaline rush with some of the coolest people I have met.

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