Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sir Bani Yas - I Beg Your Pardon?

As some of you might know, ever since our honeymoon in the Kenyan bush I've been pining to go back to the country to get my safari on.  Although the travel to such a place can be difficult and certainly costly, Matt was not about to give up hope of fulliing my wishes for the safari experience in the UAE.  Last Thursday morning, with my birthday on the horizon Matt told me to pack a safari bag and meet him at the airport in 4 hours.  A spontaneous safari - is there such a thing?

I was shocked and delighted when we boarded the sea plane in Abu Dhabi and set a course for Sir Bani Yas Island which is 160 miles SW of the capital.  The island is relatively unknown because until 2007 is was the private game reserve of the royal family set up by Sheikh Zayed back in the '70s.  It was great!  The tiny island is only 10mi x 5mi, but it packs alot in!  In additional to the great scenery and the game drives around the island you can also pick two organized activities each day that suit your fancy.  Summer camp for adults!  We did as much as we could with our 48 hours, and concluded with a fantastic dinner mountain side for just the two of us.  I don't like getting any older than the next person, but when feted like this it certainly makes it easier!   

Matt suprised me with a cake when we walked in the room.  Phase 1 - check out cake, Phase 2 - enjoy the sign...
Phase 3 - eat the chocolate!
An early morning picture in front of the sand gazelles
You gotta love the look
The activity said mountain biking, turns out beach biking is much harder!  Bonus points for Matt for centering and taking the shot while pedaling.
I loved the archery - and I still have the huge strawberry on my arm to prove it!  I'm signaling that I got 2 bulleyes (try not to look at how many I shot...)

Matt demanded the big guns so they found a 75 pound bow for him to play with.  When he missed the target the arrow actually when through the 2ft bale of hay and lodged in the rock mountain 100m away.  Do NOT get in front of this thing. 
I spotted this string ray on our snorkeling trip - I was so proud!
It doesn't get better than this.

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