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.