Monday, July 7, 2008

We’re not in Kansas, errr…Dubai, anymore


It started and ended as a great idea. Let’s go snorkeling. The journey, and I literally mean journey, took us to 2 countries and 3 Emirates by the time we arrived to our destination, and not all of those locations were intentional.

To go snorkeling you need to leave Dubai. The development of Dubai and its many projects has really ruined the coastline and the coral reefs that used to exist here. Some of the best snorkeling is located in Fujairah, one of the neighboring Emirates whose coast line is on the Gulf of Oman rather than the Arabian Gulf. There is a beautiful dive site there called Dibba Rock, so despite the 2 hour drive, we decided to set out to experience it!

About an hour into the drive we realized that not only were our directions inaccurate, but that the signage once you leave Dubai city proper is SEVERELY lacking. It occurred to us that we had been going the opposite direction almost the whole time! We find ourselves in Sharjah (another emirate) where public beheadings are still practiced and I am sure that our sundresses wouldn’t pass the “decency laws” that they impose there. Lisa and I wrapped ourselves in beach towels while our lone car drove through Bedouin camps and small villages. All we could see is desert and camels, and more desert! As Matt tries to right the wrong while calling for directions, we pass a big sign that says “Welcome to the Sultanate of Oman”. We are in Oman?! I started yelling for Matt to pull a ‘U’ turn as none of us have passports and I don’t think we are in any condition to get into a border incident with the authorities.

As we head on the road back into the UAE, we finally receive appropriate directions, only to find out that we are still 90 minutes away from our destination. We are never going to make our 9am boat! Determined as always, Matt puts the pedal to the metal and now we are flying through the mountain passes of Fujairah, in a veritable ‘no mans land’ of rock, and date trees. At one point we came around a bend and had to slam on the brakes because two goats were crossing the road! We were convinced we would never find the place, when it finally revealed itself from behind a mountain range. We had missed our boat, but the dive center was nice enough to give us our own! How’s that for karma?

1 comment:

jim said...

So let me get this straight...taking your mask off underwater is too scary, but getting lost in the desert (and possibly beheaded) is just another adventure?