6 February 2010

“As this is the last chance to visit the famous camel festival this year, nothing will stop us!” This was a clear decision despite all the dust in the air already dimming the sky in Abu Dhabi. The sandstorm was forecast to last at least another day, but nevertheless, driven by our enthusiasm for camels and camping, we headed towards Liwa on Thursday evening.
After an easy journey south, we selected a spot close to a small road to set up camp. Even this simple task turned out to be trickier than expected, as our self proclaimed expert for the empty quarter managed to get stuck just meters from the road – nobody had told him in several years in Abu Dhabi that you have to reduce tire pressure for driving on sand…

However, a few hours and another stuck car later, we finally had the tents up and the fire going. Hiding behind a sand dune provided some shelter from the wind, and head scarves and sunglasses did the rest to withstand the continuous sand blasts all night long. For people passing by it might have looked a bit like an extremists training camp…

Sandstorm? Who cares?!

The next day we woke up to a nice morning, totally covered in fine sand dust. It was everywhere – in the cars (especially the ones with windows left open to improve sound quality), and also in the closed tents – the dust had even managed to get trough the fabric – so sleeping outside was actually not a bad option…

No matter how you feel after a night in the desert, some fresh camel milk for breakfast lets you forget all the trouble, especially when you can add some coffee 🙂
Ok, not every weekend can be full of climbing adventures; sometimes it’s also good to just relax….

The camels at the festival were really cute, and it’s definitely a place to come back to next year! Things we learned this year included the fact that some camels don’t like humans to steal their milk, fresh camel milk does taste a bit like skimmed cow milk – and it can come with a lot of foam!, camels are really curious about these funny sand fleas (sand coloured Chihuahuas, I mean), and love to be treated well.

CouriousBeware - Milking!

Camels can be very understanding….

….and all those little white ones are sought after photo models!

For the second night we planned to escape the sand and camped on the beach – just to be hit by a thunderstorm! Someone was well prepared – remember, next time you see a weather forecaster buying a leather coat in the desert, it might actually mean something….



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