26 February 2011

Desert velvet sand

So we're back from our drive in the desert - WOW.  The sand was rusty red and superbly fine and soft, like velvet.  We rounded dunes and weaved our way through the sand out to the biggest dune to drink champagne and watch the sun-set.  We were just out of Al Ain, where some friends live and the sun sets in a dusty haze which is most beautiful.  Their boys of 10 and 7 were loving being able to race off across the dunes, complete with turbans, to sneak back around from various directions and try to ambush we relaxing folk.

Al Ain (Arabicالعين‎, al-ʿayn, literally The Spring), also known as the Garden City due to its greenery, is the second largest city in the Abu Dhabi Emirate and the fourth largest city in the United Arab Emirates. With a population of 374,000[1] (2009), it is located approximately 160 km east of the capital Abu Dhabi and about 120 km south of Dubai. Al Ain is the birthplace of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first president of the United Arab Emirates, and it has the country's highest number of Emirati nationals. 

Our little chico was able to put his feet in the red sand, and later on golf course grass and a little gravel.  He's met not one but three enormous dogs who have shared more spit than I care to admit, and he has given us our first sleep in ever (if you don't count the 5.25am wake-up for call to prayer) due to his slight jet-lag.  He is smiling and happy with his moves to different houses, time zones and bathing and eating arrangements.

Flying was not taken hugely in his stride, with a fair amount of complaint about being stuck in the Baby Bjorn for sleeping as he's officially too large for the Emirates bassinets... But we managed a nap of an hour in our 5 hour flight and the little bird was wide awake then til the equivalent of 1.30am when we finally got through Dubai airport passport queues and home to Uncle Andrew's.  Phew.  
Here's to lots of entertaining snacks and the discovery of brilliant things like Pro Nutro and Ouma's rusks here in Dubai... new foods mean longer periods of distraction!  I think also a few new small toys to 'discover' en route will be an idea. Tomorrow's is 6 hours to Manila, so we're slowly building up til the 7 hour to Melbourne and then in 2 months, the longer trip Melbourne - Athens.  I have a positive outlook!  (and a very, very supportive husband who is happy to have dinner in shifts).

Here's to little travelling folk.  
Have lovely Friday nights.


ChickieChirps said...

Fun times! I hope the next leg of the trip goes better. The desert sounds amazing!


Anonymous said...

It all sounds amazing! What a joy and privilege to be able to travel across the world so quickly today.

Love the travel stories... look fwd to sharing more :) - give the little one a cuddle