Today was desert safari day. Today was AWESOME!!
The safari company picked us up at our hotel and took us to the middle of nowhere. There were sand dunes are far as we could see, in every direction.
The drivers let air out of the tires for the dune bashing. Then, we jumped in the 4x4 and had a crazy ride. It was just like being on a roller coaster! We couldn't see what was coming next, which only added to the excitement.
Sand boarding was next on the agenda. We sailed down the sand dunes on snowboards. The hike back up the dunes nearly killed me, as each step I took slid downward with the sand. Others in the group marveled at Lance, asking me if he was a professional snowboarder. If you consider one who dedicates every spare moment he has to snowboarding, then yes, he is. The downside to the sand boarding is that you have sand plastered to you, as it has stuck to all of your sweat during all the fun.
We were taken to an area that was constructed specifically for the desert safaris. Here, there was shisha, henna, belly dancing, burqa dress-ups, and a Middle Eastern feast - but first, camel rides. It's an interesting balance act while the camel transitions from lying down to standing. Lance took a tooth to his head when our ride was over and the camel behind him was trying to lie down. Ouch!
Our Middle Eastern fare included chicken tikka, hummus and pita bread and a lot of vegetable salads.
The henna was my favorite part of this portion. It's a dye that you leave on for about 30 minutes. It took the woman less than a minute to paint an elaborate design on my hand and arm. The dye tingled as it set into my skin. I can't wait for my parents to think that I got a tattoo on my first stint of traveling!
Trying on the burqas was an interesting experience. I thought it was hot before, but I seriously felt like I was suffocating with it on. Really, I don't know how they do it.