UAE: The sandy drive and some oil spotting
The driver stops down the dune next to a tree and a well (maybe). I am still processing the previous experience, so I do not notice why he is kicking us out of the car. And then he speeds away leaving us in the middle of the desert with no mobile network coverage. (Continued, see previous post here)
I looked around and no one seemed to be bothered or worried. So let’s take a few photos and look around then. After a while, the car showed up on the top of the dune and the driver performed the skill of dune-bashing again, this time letting the spectators to admire his skill from a distance.
Further driving around and several highlights of the tour followed. At one point l saw a gazelle speeding away from us. Only trace left behind were her footsteps in the sand, confirming the name of Abu Dhabi as the father of a gazelle.
The car engine needed some rest from time to time, too, other time we stopped to push the car out of sand. We also tried to avoid a herd of camels or to admire drivers gardening skills in an oasis hidden under a steep dune. He had quite a decent vegetable selection there – lentils, peas, beans…
A heart of a former oil analyst also got what it craved for – some oil spotting. 😉 We drove past several oil fields, entrance to those areas was guarded by armed personnel. We also passed the freshly built oil pipeline to Fujairah. In case of an armed conflict with Iran and a blockade of the Strait of Hormuz (history can repeat itself), this pipeline will allow the Emirates to keep exporting some of their oil (but do not jump with joy, the price of the oil and the gasoline would make you cry anyway and you’d better convert to a public transport lover). I used to write and talk a lot about this. A dream come true. Someone wants to meet a celebrity and someone wants to see an oil pipeline.
After a few hours, we were back on the paved road and our stomachs thanked us. We made one stop at the petrol station to inflate the tyres and then headed to our last stop, the tallest dune in the Emirates. Some adventurers were just trying to ride its steep side down on motorbikes. Not sure I want to follow their example.