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Day 6 in Dubai | Las Vegas Photographer

Yesterday has to go down as one of the biggest adventures of my entire life. Joe and I went on a desert safari! We made our way by cab to the pickup location, where we boarded a bus driven by a very sweet but very slow guy from India, named Mo. With a packed rickety bus of about 21 people we began the hour long drive into the desert. The bus smelled strongly of diesel feel and was quickly joined with the scent of body odor, since there was no air conditioning and it was boiling hot. I was okay with roughing it though since I was yearning for a taste of what life must be like for the non-elite living in this part of the world (outside of luxurious Dubai). I did however consider how trusting all of us tourists were just getting on a bus like this in a tumultuous continent. While watching for memorable markers (just in case) I noticed camels in the desert, camel crossing signs, and how people hitch-hike here on the highways as well as walk alongside and even across these dangerous roads.

When we finally came to a stop at our destination, I was surprised to see it was just in the middle of nowhere. I had imagined there would be a shaded building of sorts with, oh, maybe WATER for everyone. No such luck. We all gathered around the bus outside in the heat, waiting for instruction that never came. Mo couldn't even tell us what would happen next except we would have to walk through the soft sand over a small hill to await our desert safaris, since he didn't think his bus would make it there. Nice. We waited and waited, all of us looking extremely confused, until one girl decided we should all be taken back to Dubai and have refunds since everything was so unorganized. Mo just told her,"Wait 5 more minutes, just 5 more minutes." Other groups began arriving around this time too and almost immediately were picked up in SUV's. Hmmm.

5 minutes came and went but finally SUV's began arriving for us and groups of 7 piled in each one. Joe and I got on the last one, and once inside (in the far back - 4 Indian guys from the UK were in front of us) the driver whisked us away. OMG. I was scared for my very life! I should probably fill you all in on a little secret about me. I was diagnosed a long time ago with something called post-traumatic stress syndrome, due to a rather extreme car accident I was involved in at the age of 16. My friend at the time basically drove us right off a 200 foot cliff in Malibu, CA after trying to avoid hitting a little coyote. This caused me to have panic attacks that have followed me into adulthood, unfortunately. Because Joe has experienced some of these firsthand, he was freaking out mores out me possibly having a full blown attack tha he was about the crazy ride we we're beginning...lol. Another little tidbit about me, is I am VERY expressive. You will know by the look on my face or by what I am vocalizing exactly how I am feeling. Even my past acting teacher thought this was a problem, back in the day, and said I would be more cut out for the theatrics of the stage, rather than the subtlety of filmmaking. So, when it would appear like we were about to roll the suv, you can imagine I would definitely be making a peep! Joe kept saying under his breath, "shut up, Stacie, shut up" lol. But I was actually having fun! This was a huge event for me, to have fun doing something dangerous and to not have a panic attack while doing it...yay! however, I did think I might throw up a few times. The stench of the drivers strong body odor, alongside my dehydration as well as being seated in the far back had me a little worried at times. I must have looked it too since the driver offered me a barf bag at one point...lol.

After the exhilarating, yet bumpy ride through the desert, we approached what looked like a small, contained village. We made it to our destination in one piece, woohoo! There were 2 camels, a guy with a falcon (oh I forgot to mention the guy on a 4 wheeler who approached our waiting group on the bus earlier! He drive up with a falcon on his lap, and proceeded to hop off and carry his falcon over to me, where he placed it on my arm! I was thrilled until I realized he wanted money now. Ha! Anyway, we entered the village where we immediately found water and proceeded to find a pillow to sit on at one of the tables. Dinner was served and we enjoyed a belly dance performance by a Russian girl ( a bit odd) and then a strange act by a guy in a skirt who twirled the entire time. What we thought was odd originally became very cool as the lights went dark in the village and his outfit lit up and he transformed into different shapes.




When it was all over we were told to gather outside and wait for our buses or SUV's. Everyone else had immediate rides, but I knew we would have a problem since Mo mentioned his bus not being able to make it up a small hill earlier....there was no way he would have gotten it to where we were now. In fact, he was just kicking back, looking unworried, on a nearby bench. He said we would have to wait for rides out of there. And wait, we did. Finally SUV's appeared and our group, the last ones standing, began piling in. Once inside ours, the driver warned that we had best hurry up and buckle up. We immediately scrambled to get our seat lets on and before you know it, we were on a wild ride all over again, but this time it was in the pitch DARK! He kept asking, "Are you scared yet? Are you scared yet?" umm, why, yes, we are sir! Lol. Finally we arrived back at our rickety bus and once everyone was dropped off, we realized only one person was missing....Mo, our bus driver! All of the other buses began disappearing and the SUV drivers rode off as well, leaving us standing alongside a pitch black highway wondering if we would be stranded. Eventually Mo arrived though and we began our journey back into the city, where we would once again be on steady, secure grounds.

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About stacie

Stacie is the owner and photographer of Haute Shots. She resides in Las Vegas, NV. She LOVES hearing from you all on her blog so be sure to comment!

One Response to "Day 6 in Dubai | Las Vegas Photographer"

  • Kim Hill
    March 15, 2012 - 5:09 am Reply

    What an amazing adventure. Sounds like a total blast!!!

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