My wife and I were picked up from our hotel at about 4 pm by our guide who also added another family from a different hotel before we finally headed up towards the desert. In this jeep, we had three Nigerians, an Indian family and our Pakistani driver who represented Rayna Tours. This Driver was very respectful. I mean of all the people who drove me around Dubai, he remains special. He treated us like Royalty and he did everything to make the tour to the desert enjoyable. He even surprised us by playing the latest Nigerian music on the way back. As we wanted to enter the desert, he stopped to allow another jeep to pass us (as they move in a convoy of 4 wheel drives) and I asked him why? He said the man is his senior so he has to give him passage to enter the desert before him. Very respectful.
There was also a souvenir shop we stopped by and we met other “desert conquerors” like me. This place is like a kitting station where you can buy native Arab clothing suitable for the desert. A lot of tourists bought and dressed up but yours truly didn’t buy because I couldn’t figure out what I would do with the traditional dresses after the desert Safari. My wife bought the headgear and in a jiffy everyone looked like Arabs and I stuck out like a sore thumb with my “Resource control” Fedora hat.
Later I noticed that the tires of the Jeeps were being deflated and on inquiry, I was told that it was for easy movement when we entered the desert. Once back in the Jeep, the action started. Up went the jeep on the sand dunes and down all of a sudden. One minute its as if it would spill over a cliff the next minute we were cascading down a deep slope into a gully only to make sharp turns to the left or to the right. After about ten seconds, everyone was screaming and I started feeling dizzy. Let me use the word, “enjoyably dizzy”. I hope you understand me.
After all the twists and turns, the vehicle came to an abrupt stop before a Falconer. We all came down, but I refused to enjoy the falconer and his falcon because I needed to get “my balance back after the roller-coaster ride“ etc. This is a ride of a life time which I would advise anyone who visits Dubai to partake in. It was pleasantly rough and I would do it again if given the opportunity. After the photo ops with the falconer, we proceeded to the camp that would host us in the desert. There was food to eat and much to drink. Once we were all settled in the desert camp, everyone disappeared into one enjoyable event or the other. Some went sandboarding or should I call it sand skiing. Others took to taking pictures of the desert. I mean with the camels, horses etc.
Some rode the horses and the camels while a good number of people busied themselves with just walking in the sand and enjoying the wind and the on-coming sunset. I dived straight into video and photography. I will say more on this in a later blog as I still have two more articles to write concerning my desert experience. But to round up this aspect, we concluded the evening watching traditional Arab dancers, fire eaters etc. It was an enjoyable sight to see and worth every penny spent.
Some lessons learnt
Whilst taking photographs, I started thinking hence the lessons enumerated below.
In life, don’t wait for men to create activities for you. Do it yourself so that you won’t be stranded whilst surrounded by myriad of profitable options. There is so much to do and accomplish if the hands of a man are willing. Don’t wait to be told what to do. Find what inspires the fires of passion in you and do it. Don’t wait for opportunity to knock on your door. Find where she lives and knock on her door. This thoughts crossed my mind because as we were savoring the loneliness of the desert, people began inventing their own fun. Yes there were fun activities put in place by Rayna tours but we were given the liberty to enjoy the desert within and outside the camp. This was how I took the pictures below. I actually walked a bit far out of the camp seeking places where the earth had not been disturbed by the feets of men. I titled these series of pictures “the language of the earth series “. (Prints from this series are now available for purchase if you are interested).
At times events on the earth are coherent and understandable. At times its confused nonsense.
“Can you read the handwriting of the earth to be able to dictate and dominate the events and affairs of life” ?
The Desert maintains itself.
It strangulates anything that tries to grow. It takes the strong and the wise to survive in the desert. I dubbed some plants – the wise plants. They were the ones who despite the dryness of the desert were still able to find water and thrive. Is it not true in life that in the place where many are complaining even die off because of harsh environment others are making it?
“I have to be wise to survive my harsh environment. I must seek and find the available succor like these few plants. I must not perish where others have discovered the mystery of survival. I refuse to die when I meant to live and win”.
Antoine de Saint said “what makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well”.
There is always a solution somewhere to life matters. Nothing is over till you give up.
Looking further into the desert there were some beautiful looking plants. Some had flowers and from them I gathered treasures of wisdom from that too. If you are beautiful and you are caught in the desert of life at the hour of your blossoming, no one will see you. Some of these flowers are not going to be seen by anybody. Their fragrances will not bless anyone. Their beauty may just as well become a waste.
“I must not waste. I must shine in the place where those who recognise value can see me. I can’t become who I am created to be if I dwell and die in obscurity”.
Of course despite the harsh environment they still flowered and even gave their peculiar aroma as plants and flowers.
“I must not lose the originality of my person in the midst of the pressures of life” .
I saw plants standing alone and thriving alone. No neighbours, no friends. This is an allusion to seasons of life where a man must stand alone. There will be battles where you just have to keep your head above the water without looking for a helper. These plants have no one to converse with. You don’t need everyone around you to become something or somebody in life. You can be made alone if you would just follow the blue print of your life by discovered truth concerning yourself.
Finally, the desert makes you think of men, life, death and God.
“There is nothing in the desert
There something in the desert
There is everything is in the desert
You will only find everything
if only you know how to look something
in the midst of nothing.”
–The Travelling Poet.
Read another travel story by following this link HOW I ALMOST DIED AT IYAKE LAKE
Have you seen the desolations of the desert before? Have you lived in the desert before? What thoughts or insights/inspirations did you pick whilst reading this blog. Let me have your opinion in the comment section below.
Also subscribe to this Blog if you haven’t and feel free to share our stories with those whom you think will enjoy this story.
See you in the next Blog.