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Monday, December 6, 2010

Dune Bashing

After our first night camping in the Empty Quarter, we wanted to try some desert driving for ourselves, but were a little timid after getting our trucks stuck initially. Neither my friend nor I had any experience driving in the desert. We saw another inexperienced driver get his car incredibly stuck which made us even more nervous. We looked along the main road for some beginner friendly driving and had a short drive in some sandy salt flats.

My son started getting bored so we found a secluded place and set up camp. I figured that there was no point in dune bashing myself if I was going to be too worried about getting stuck to do anything. Only my daughter was interested in going so we gave Gulab, the guy who helped get our cars out of the sand the day before, a call. We met him at his office at the base of the Moreeb Dune. He had given us his card and said that we could choose between having him drive our truck or his truck. He was vague about his pricing, but as it turned out, an hour in my truck was 150 dirhams (about $50) and an hour in his truck was 500 dirhams. Previously, I had decided that having him drive my truck only to be worried about him messing it up the whole time wouldn't be worth it. In the end, I wanted to see what my Chevy Trailblazer was capable of and asked him to drive my vehicle.

First he let some air out of the tires for traction in the sand. I wanted him to give me lessons, but he said that he would show me how to drive and the next time we come out he would instruct me. In the meantime, he was explaining what he was doing and why.
video
He took us around in some rolling hills before heading towards the sandier dunes. We stopped for a few minutes at a camel farm so my daughter could see the camels.
It was fairly exciting, especially since it was my truck at stake and not his, but he was careful and I could tell that he knew what he was doing.
video
After the ride, he stopped at a tire center to get the tires filled again. The most terrifying part of the ride was the drive back down curvy two-lane roads.He mentioned that he would take it easy because my daughter was in the truck and because it wasn't his vehicle. I would imagine that for 500 dirhams it would be a much wilder ride. I was glad to have him drive my truck to get an idea of how to drive it in the desert better. At some point, I wouldn't mind trying dune bashing in the desert with his instruction. However, the next time I go there I want to try it in his truck to see what he can do when he really tries.

4 comments:

  1. If you're interested in dune bashing I can recommend Gulab, the guy who gave me a tour. He will either take you out in your four-wheel-drive truck(150 dirhams per hour) or in his (500 dirhams per hour). I chose to have him take my truck simply because I wanted to see what it was capable of. If you're worried about possible damage, I would recommend you have him use his truck, simply for your own piece of mind.

    The next time I'm out that way, I'll have him use his truck because he lets loose a lot more.
    If you want to contact him ahead of time, here is Gulab's info:
    Tel: 971 2 884 0400
    Mobile: 050 910 0043

    Alternately, you can get stuck on the dune opposite Moreeb Dune and wait for him to rescue you.

    He is part of Abu Dhabi Motors Club which has an excellent website by UAE standards:
    www.admc.ae

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your little movie links aren't working. They open up the image of the guy filling up your tires.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't know what to tell you. They work when I try them so I don't know what to do about fixing them. Blogger gets touchy when trying to format and upload videos. I'd appreciate any input from other people as to whether or not the videos work or suggestions as to how I can fix them.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I went dune bashing again on Sunday and this time we used Gulab's truck so he let loose a little bit more.

    If you want to contact him by email, here is his email address: FARHAN_050@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete

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