Prior to the Eid holiday here in Dubai we had our big event of the year. The Unlimited Power Online Dubai event. We had a number of speakers come in from overseas and we like to show them something a little different to what they usually get on the speakers circuit. So we fly them in a few days early and show them the sites of Dubai. Needless to say, with varying degrees of jet lag and lots to fit into the schedule, it turns into a week long event of late nights, early mornings and lots of organisation. It’s a fantastic event and one that I am sure the speakers enjoy just as much as us, and the attendees.
Amongst other things we went to the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, took an Abra across the Creek, the gold souk, Aquaventure, a trip to our Sponsor Cisco, drinks at 360, Burj Khalifa tour and of course the final closing party at Atlantis.
In between I also had a trip to the F1 qualifying and was very lucky to be invited onto a friends yacht, before heading down to the Linkin Park concert that was happening that evening. Which incidentally was awesome!! From there, made a pit stop at the closing party to see the speakers one final time.
After all the fun and games as well as a lot of learning during that week, was definitely time to recharge the batteries and being here in Dubai we have lots of access to big open areas of desert where you can get away from it all. So a few of us drove about an hour or so out towards Ras Al Khaimah, turned off the road and ventured off into the desert a little to get away from civilisation. Some very gentle off roading over a couple small dunes and we found a perfect site for the night, one that a couple of the guys had used previously – Al Ghail
The great thing about these 1 nighters is that you don’t actually have to go to far and yet you can feel completely out of the city and away from all bright lights of Dubai. After the drive, we got there and setup camp. First job is to find fire wood, so we drove off and found a construction site and piled a load of discarded fence posts in the back of the FJ. As it turned out, was the perfect amount to last till just after midnight! Upon arriving back at the camp site, Matt N, had basically dug a ‘fire pit’ big enough for a mosquito, so dug a new ‘proper’ one, got the wood in place and then naturally, Morwenna broke out the Cosmopolitans!! 🙂 What kind of camping trip would it be without cosmos eh?
The sun was just setting so we all walked up the closest dune to watch the sun disappear. In this part of the world, it’s very quick. After about 10 mins the sun had set behind some larger dunes, lots of pics had been takend and it was time to get the fire going and get some food BBQ’ing. Out came the famous Barry’s Burgers along with far too much other food, including a whole butternut squash, which was actually very tasty after being cooked in the fire! After dinner some of our party had to head back to town as they were working and flying the following day. This in itself proved harder than anticipated. Matt W lead the 3 girls out, but there were some issues with actually getting back out over the dunes we came in over, especially in the pitch dark. It made for great entertainment for the rest of us by the fire, watching the headlights going all over the place, engines revving madly and then cars stopping half way up the dune!! But after about 20 minutes of entertainment the girls made it out and Matt W returned – what a hero!
As the night drew on and Lenny’s alter ego ‘Kevin’ was with us, we drank our supplies dry and put the world to rights, realised that Laura hated U2, which is crazy and eventually all crawled into our tents just after midnite. Quite early, but we all knew that at about 5am the sun would be rising and we would be getting up whether we wanted to or not!
Good food, good friends, good times!
Check out all the photos at
http://picasaweb.google.com/barrycummings/EidCampingAlGhail02?authkey=Gv1sRgCOTv5qjEzoDrqQE&feat=directlink or the collage below