Wednesday, December 8, 2010

You Wouldn't Know the Sahara Desert If You Were Standing In the Middle of It.

Click to viewWe are driving from Abu Dhabi to the south to the Saudi Arabian border. We pass lots of sand and camels on the side of the road giving me bedroom eyes. We then turned off the main "highway" (I use this term very lightly) and got onto a gravel road going into miles and miles of red sand dunes. In every direction that is all you can see. They are neverending, breathtaking, like silent soldiers, waiting patiently. They are comforting and daunting all at the same time. We drove for about 10 miles and came to this arch way made of ceramic. "This must be the camel sheperd colony," I thought to myself. Chris had told me we were staying in a tent. And I believed him. But as we passed through this gate, we headed down into a dune valley and all the sudden it appeared. Our oasis. Our 5 Star Oasis.
Stay 3 Pay 2 at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort

Little villas spread out over the dunes. We enter the palatial lobby greeted by men in turbans. We are served hot tea, dates and fresh crushed strawberry juice. We watched the sun set over the desert and there are now millions of stars. It's 3:10 in the morning. Chris is sleeping, but I'm out on the balcony star-gazing. The temperature has dropped considerably. I can't believe I'm here.
We had our first (and probably last) alcohol of the trip here. Beer tastes that much better when you know it is "forbidden."
It would be worth it to come to this paradoxical country simply to see the desert. The best part about it is that I would have been just as happy sleeping in a tent with the camel sheperds. But tonight I will settle for this mecca :-).

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