Sunday, November 25, 2007

I love my camera :)

The kids were out shooting some hoops with their friends before dinner last night when DD came running in yelling for me to come outside and bring my camera! I went outside and was greeted with this gorgeous sunset!

Got a bit carried away with the photos - sorry!

Stitching: I have been doing a little stitching although not huge amounts. I seem to have the reading bug lately and my stitching has suffered because of it. Anyway, it is the Christmas/Mermaids SAL on the HAED BB this weekend so I've pulled both Dream of Purple and Sea of Roses out with the intention of making some progress. I also had Plum Gothic QS out earlier this week and once this weekend is over I intend to get back to her and work on her until she is done. Well, that's this week's plan anyway :)

I'll post before and after pics of each after the SAL has finished. Right now I'm heading back to my chair for an hour's stitching before the kids come home from school!

Friday, November 16, 2007

House Guest!

Meet Rabbit!

No, we haven't taken on another dog :) We are just looking after him this week while his owner (a lovely lady by the name of Trudy) is overseas for work. He'll be going home after the weekend - I think Tikki will miss him - they get along really well together. Still, she'll see him at Christmas when he and Truds come to house-sit while we are on holidays :)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Camping Trip - Part Two (Warning: Photo Heavy Post!)

Okay, now where was I? Oh yes, trying to upload photos!! It appears Blogger Photos is being nice to me today but for how long remains to be seen!!!

Anyway, here are a couple of shots of the mountain goats (kids) continuing on up the hill - the bit I passed on!

At the very top! DS and his friend continued over the ridge and onto the other side - if you peer really closely at the next photo, you can just see them at the top!

We were only sleeping one night in the rough so after breakfast, we packed up camp and headed back down the mountains towards the main road and the Fujairah Rotana Hotel (ah, showers, toilets and comfy beds!) where we were to spend the second night! We all rolled in to the lobby looking rather dusty and hot, so much so that a lady appeared bearing cool (white!!) face cloths and another nice lady armed with a tray of ice cold juice for us all. I'd hate to be the poor soul trying to get those cloths white again - lol!

After checking in to our rooms, we all had a quick wash, put on our swimming gear, lathered on the sunscreen and headed down to the pool! Since I really didn't get all that much sleep the night before, I promptly crashed out for an hour or so on the lounger!

The kids had a great time in the pool on the water slide ...

and since the hotel is right on the beach as well, on the banana boat ...

in the giant tube ...

and on the beach itself ...

After the beach fun, the kids went back into the pool, while the adults relaxed poolside with a round or two (or three or four!) of cocktails :) We then all headed back to our respective rooms for showers and a change of clothes for dinner. The kids descended on the buffet and the chocolate fountain while the adults went for the a la carte dining. We had a reasonably early night (before midnight) and after a little sleep-in the next morning, buffet breakfast and another little play in the pool for the kids, we were on the road home by midday.

Going home!

Some of the amazing road side scenery!

We enjoyed our first camping trip and will definitely do it again - although DH reckons that next time we skip the first night under the stars and just head straight to the hotel - lol! Perhaps a compromise of one night roughing it and two nights in a hotel :)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Camping Trip - Part One

Last Thursday we headed off with four other families for the weekend on our first ever UAE camping trip!

We planned to leave around 2.30pm so Ken took the day off work and I arranged early pick-up of the kids up from school. I had slowly been accumulating all the gear in our spare bedroom the week before and had done all the food shopping on Wednesday so all we had to do Thursday morning was load up the eskies (coolboxes or iceboxes for those non-Australians) with food and drink, load the truck up and head off.

I think we managed to pack everything including the kitchen sink - lol!! Unfortunately, I forgot to get a pic of the truck all packed up but you can imagine how much room two tents, four sleeping bags, one queen and two single airbeds, six collapsible chairs, one collapsible table, clothing, torches, BBQ kettle, eskies, first aid kits, shovel, rope, mini-compressor and other assorted camping gear took up!

We met up with the others at 2pm and by 2.30pm and armed with our trusty UAE Off-Road Explorer book, our convoy of four 4WDs were on our way towards Wadi Sidr/Sana on the East Coast near Fujairah - approximately 140kms. Roughly just under a two-hour drive, with an estimated arrival time of around 4-4.30pm leaving us about an hour of good daylight left to set up camp.

Well, that was the plan! With a couple of missed turn-offs by the lead cars trying to break the land-speed record (we were heading up the rear behind the third vehicle at a more "leisurely" 120kms/hr) we ended up travelling in two convoys of two and eventually meeting up further down the track. Then the route up through the mountains had changed since the last time the leaders had been there, so it made more like 2.5 to 3 hours before we finally got to the plateau where we camping for the night.

Still, given there were eight adults and ten children, we managed to get the tents up and the rest of the camp sorted fairly quickly (despite it being very windy to start with!). The kids went searching for firewood so they could get their bonfire happening and the adults set up tables and chairs, dispensed ice cold beverages, got the meat cooking on the barbie, and salads and other assorted snackage spread out just as it was getting dark. It was so quiet and peaceful and so nice to get out of the city for a change. A rather pleasant evening was had by all.

We were up quite early the next morning (6am) so I took the opportunity to take a few photos before breakfast. You can just see the open boot door of our vehicle on the far side of the camp. We were the only people up there which we thought surprising since the UAE Off-Road Explorer book is quite popular.

See that hill behind the campsite in the photo above? Well, the younger kids and I decided to climb up it! It doesn't look like much but it was quite steep and hard going to the point where I thought I was going to pass out! Anyway, about three-quarters of the way up is an unpaved road where I stopped to catch my breath and take this photo. The kids continued up to the top but I passed and after ensuring that the kids were making their way safely back down to the camp, I opted for the easier route back via the road!

*sigh* Blogger Photos is now being totally unco-operative and won't upload at all so I will save the rest of the photos and try to post them later.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Going camping!

Catch up in a couple of days!