Our friend Dale organized a desert safari outing for us with a local tour company. He did all the research and planning, and selected the tour company, then asked what kind of activities we wanted to do on our desert adventure.
We selected to do some dune bashing, which I had heard a lot about, but was a little scared of, and spending some time at the Inland Sea, which is supposed to be beautiful! Dune bashing, for those who do not know, is driving in a Land Cruiser over all kinds of sand dunes out in the desert! When done with a trained driver, it is a blast. The Inland Sea has no roads to it, so you must have a 4 wheel drive in order to get there.
We got up early and met at Dale’s apartment a little before 9 , since the Land Cruisers were picking us up at 9 AM at the Four Seasons, the hotel next door to Dale’s apartment building. Three Land Cruisers arrived at the hotel, and we all loaded in! There were 10 of us, and we picked up some additional people at other hotels before taking off to the desert.
We drove for about 45 minutes to an hour, and noticed a very different kind of scenery than we are used to – sand everywhere, and no signs of civilization!!! We had arrived at a stopping point for all cars before they travel any further. The reason for stopping? To let air out of your tires – something to do with better grip when you are dune bashing. Sound scary? Yeah, I was a little nervous 🙂
Luckily, for entertainment while you are waiting, you can ride a camel! Many of our friends decided to do it. (I did not – maybe next time!) Here is Kira, riding her beastie (Her word, I love it!) :
After everyone had taken some time to ride the camels, and the air had been let out of the tires, it was time for some fun! So we all piled back into our land cruisers, and off we went into the desert!
I had heard about dune bashing, but really had no idea what to expect. WOW! It is sooooo terrifying at first, but then completely fun, as long as you are in the hands of an experienced driver, which we definitely were! I assumed the sand was like snow, so you could stuck in it going up and down the dunes, but that was never a problem for us. It was crazy!
We started out into the sand dunes, driving on curves of sand where you could see 15 to 20 feet below you! We drove up really steep sand dunes, and came down really steep ones!! We even went in reverse down a sand dune. Oh, and our driver, who spoke no English, decided to pump up the volume on some gangster (gangsta?) rap while we were driving! So we had some 50 cent, Daddy Yankee, and other fun songs to accompany our wild ride! It was such an indescribable experience! Here are some pictures to try and give you an idea!
After about an hour or so of dune bashing, we were all famished and ready to eat! So they drove us to a camp site owned by their company. It was kind of a relief to be on the ground again – ha ha 🙂 The campsite was really nice – they had showers, toilets, and covered huts, and lots of cold water and sodas for us! Here is a picture of our hut:
So we relaxed, drank cold beverages and chatted while they cooked up an amazing lunch for us! When Dale said lunch would be provided, I was assuming it would be brown bag! Nope, they grilled some fresh chicken and steak right then and there, and served it along side rice, hummus, tabbouleh, and all kinds of other yummy foods! It was soooo good and so filling. No pictures of the food though 😛
So I noticed while we were relaxing, they had the hood of one of the cars open, and I was a little concerned, but tried to think nothing of it. So instead, after eating, we took a walk to the Inland Sea. It was absolutely beautiful and so refreshing to walk in! Here are a few pictures:
After a few hours, it was time to head back home. However, one of the cars was not starting! I knew when the hood was up, something was wrong. So what do you do? We are out in the desert, where there are no paved roads!!
Well our land cruiser decided to latch onto the other land cruiser and attempt to tow it out of the desert. This was interesting, and not successful right away. First, they had a small cable, and it broke pretty quickly. Then they had a stronger one that worked, however not without issues!!!
We were driving along the desert dunes, and the driver was trying to stay on flat sand (Which there is not a lot of). At some point, he needsed to stop, while stopping the other land cruiser behind him (that we are towing). So what does he do? A 180 degree turn in the land cruiser – with all of us in it! At that moment, I really thought the land cruiser was going to tip over, and we were done! Terrifying! Luckily, we were okay, but the cable that was towing the car – got all twisted up in the axle of our land cruiser! Here’s a picture, from my friend Kira:
Luckily, they all seem to carry air compressors in their cars, so our driver reinflated the tire, and we started again towing the land cruiser – this time at a much slower rate!! We finally made it back to the petrol station, where there were some tow trucks just waiting around. So off went the broken down land cruiser, and the people in it had to jump in the other 2 land cruisers. It felt like a pretty quick drive home which was good, because we were all exhausted! But all in all, it was a blast, and I hope to do it again! We are also talking about doing an overnight trip and sleeping in the desert at the camp site 🙂
If you come visit, and want to go dune bashing, just let us know!!! As always, if you want to see more pictures, click this link: