|my piece of heritage gear- a kind of leaning seat|
|one of our desert camps- my favorite so far|
I'm nuts about the desert camping that I've been able to do but I'm also totally reliant on other people to get me there and back. You need a 4wd vehicle, you should air down your tires, you need to confidently keep moving over dunes even when you can't see what's over the next crest because as a driver, if you slow down, scream a little and cover your eyes, like I tend to do as a passenger, you'll probably get stuck. You can't really go alone unless you've got some kind of back-up help on call. But once you find your place in the dunes, it's nothing but fine, soft sand in ripples and crests, taking on golden colors at sunset. It's nights full of stars and silence or maybe the sound of the campfire crackling... Well after all your loud friends go to bed, that is! I just love it all.
|this flat spot in the mountains had once been some kind of farm|
Then there's the mountain camping,sometimes near the wadis or valleys and ravines. Once again, 4wd is likely to be important as is some knowledge of a flat spot. Much of the mountain terrain is quite rocky and the nice, wide, flatter spots have been snapped up by local farmers. My only night in the mountains so far was weirdly misty and damp but everything burned off in the morning and we explored the nearby foundations and rock storage structures.
I was just introduced to a beach camp spot this past weekend, over near Khorfakan, in the eastern region of the country. While there was a traditional sandy beach part, tides this time of year made it a little small for our group and we knew it was slated to get even a bit smaller before the tides turned again so we set up on a little rise, just 20 or so yards/ meters away from the beach and above a shore area of cool, surf pounded rocks harboring crabs and the occasional sea urchin. There were a lot of nice things about this spot but it was plagued with one of the big problems in the
|the trashy (foreground) and the sublime (that sea!)|
I think there's a market for some entrepreneurial Emirati to offer up a semi developed campground, reachable in a sedan but with the beautiful seclusion and starry skies of the desert or maybe a rustic, mountainside campground, with a port-a-potty and a hiking trail, a couple of fire rings and picnic tables, I think expats with tents and coolers would flock to a place like that. Or would pay good money for a laid back sandy beach spot where they could throw up a tent with a cement block bathhouse and a little non- salt water to rinse off after a swim. I guess that might take away some of the adventure though, and there'd probably have to be rules... for now, I'll keep bumming rides in 4x4s or finding the non-trashy corner of the beach to enjoy one of my favorite ways to spend a night.
|at beach camp- the view from the water looking back was pretty nice too|
|part of the beach camp shoreline was rocks with these creepy-cool barnacles|
|one more from sunrise desert camp|