PHOTO DIARY: ONE STARRY NIGHT IN THE ARABIAN DESERT
It was hot, I was jet lagged and the last thing I felt like doing was leaving my hotel room. After arriving into Dubai following a long 14-hour flight from Australia, the comforts of my air conditioned hotel room were beckoning me. So after a ran a warm bubble bath and checked my emails, I felt refreshed and ready for my next adventure – a night spent in the Arabian desert! I could write a long blog post detailing what the Arabian desert adventure involved, but it’s been a while in between photo diaries so I think I’ll let the photos do the talking this time. Enjoy!
After being picked up from my hotel in Dubai, I was driven into the desert in a brand new air conditioned 4WD. It was very lush! After about 45 minutes we made it to our first stop, where we met some very friendly local camels in the middle of the Arabian desert.
After meeting the camels, we sat down for a lesson about the Arabian desert and also a bird show. I am not a big fan of animal shows but the crowd loved it. I preferred to walk around the camp and soaking in the view.
After the bird show, we hopped back into our 4WD's and drove across the desert, up and down some of the tallest and steepest sand dunes I've ever seen. I was sitting in the front seat so I had the best view of the sand dunes ahead. It was wild! After what seemed like five minutes, which was probably more like 20 minutes, our drivers stopped to let us jump out, take photos of the desert and enjoy sunset.
What surprised me most about the Arabian desert was how quickly the colours of the sunset changed. At first the colours were bright and blue, then they faded off to a dull light blue then out of no where, this brilliant electric pink sunset exploded in front of us. It was incredible! The desert was also very quiet, so it felt quiet spiritual for many of us.
After watching the sunset, we jumped back into our 4WD's and made our way to a gorgeous camp setting underneath the starry sky. Here are a group of local men waiting to meet us and take us on a camel ride. I didn't go on a camel ride but instead chose to walk around and explore.
As everyone was milling around to jump on a camel, I was very struck by this man staring intently at me as he let me photograph him. It was one of those 'pinch myself' moments because the lighting was perfect, the background was perfect and he was staring straight into my lens. He also was a very lovely man who loved the photo, which reminds me, I need to send him a copy!
It gets very dark very quickly in the Arabian desert, so as the light began to fade I quickly made my way into the camp and couldn't believe my eyes. It was like I had stepped into a scene of Aladdin, my favourite Disney movie. When I walked in I was offered a fresh date to eat whilst sipping on a shot of local coffee. Those two flavours go hand in hand like you wouldn't believe. In the camp there were magic carpets and cushions and low tables and couches - I was in paradise. We enjoyed a three course meal, ate lots of freshly baked hot bread and were treated to a belly dance. But my favourite moment of the entire Arabian desert adventure was when we were asked to lay down on the carpets and all the lights were turned off so we could quietly watch the thousands of stars light up the sky, and of course, a wish on a few falling stars as well.