middle east trip – day 2

today was a long ass day and i’m beat but the experiences i had were amazing.

my day started off at the Jumeirah Golf Estates, playing at the Earth course.  this course hosts the season-ending tournament for the Race to Dubai (european tour golf).  the course is this perfectly manicured and this deep lush green, which is shocking in the middle of the desert.  the course is also in the middle of the Jumeirah Golf Estates, which is this HUGE housing complex.  i am uncertain if it’s due to the economic slowdown or if people are waiting to move in, but every home is empty.  and since the course is lined with homes, its kinda weird to see every home half built and empty.  but the houses block the view of the desert and downtown Dubai and since the course is so green, you almost feel like you’re playing at some random course in Virginia.  its surreal.

after golf, i had to make it back to the hotel quickly to shower and meet up with the fam to go on a desert safari.  i was uncertain what to expect but i was hoping we would do some fun offroading as well as eat some cool old-school food.  and my prediction came true.  we arrived at the desert preserve and waiting for us was a bunch of old convertible Land Rovers.  there also were some Mercedes G Wagons but they were for other (and more boring) guests.  i was 10x more excited to ride these old school trucks thru the desert.  the offroading portion of the ride was amazing, seeing the vast expanse of the desert.  it was quiet and calming to walk the dunes and get somewhat lost in the environment.

Our Awesome Land Rovers  Climbing The Dunes

the second portion of the safari was to see a falcon show during sunset.  seeing the amazing skills of the falcon was extremely interesting but watching the sun set over the desert was breathtaking.  reminded me of Tatooine in Star Wars…

Watching the Falcon The Sun Setting

the final stop of the night was the campground for dinner, something we were looking forward to all day.  there were a variety of activities planned like henna tattoos, camel rides, a huge dinner, and shisha (hooka).  though i avoided henna tattoos and the camels, dinner looked delicious.  though there were many courses, the star of the meal was a slowcooked whole lamb.  the lamb was submerged in the sand and surrounded with hot coals for 6 hours.  it was perfectly moist and tasty comboed with yogurt and rice.

Our Camp Whole Roasted Lamb

after a meal like that, shisha and arabic coffee was the perfect way to end the day.  all in all, an amazing day.

Shisha

tomorrow, the family heads to Saudi to meet up with our new in-laws.  but not before we hit up some final sights in Dubai like the Burj Khalifa.  should be another adventure-filled day.

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