Photo-A-Day – Our Middle Eastern Adventure | Day 4

Our usual early riser Bb has been sleeping in and Ayrlie has taken his place tho much more disturbingly! At least today was better than yesterday, 5.30 am instead of 4.30 am 😳. Breakfast today was at Saffron, one of the hotels Asian inspired restaurants. The international selection was vast. So many dishes to choose from including 8 different flavoured dumplings, won tons, curries, a full pastry wall, and another chocolate fountain. The kids were desperate to go to kids club (which is included in our room rate) so we booked them in for the morning 10.30-1.30pm session. I headed off to the Spa for a body scrub and mud wrap and Mark hit the slides at the water park.

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Then it was a quick change and snack before heading to the lobby for our afternoon pick up by Platinum Heritage Safaris. The initial drive was longer than I expected being 1.45min. When we arrived at the desert we were given gift bags with water bottles and fitted out in our traditional head dress. Women’s are black and the men’s red and white. We then climbed aboard our camels! Wow! What an experience that was. A full 45 min ride through the desert. They are bumpier than we expected. The camel behind mark and Benjamin kept coming up for a pat and scratch on the head. We saw a Gazelle and some white Arabian Oryx, which are quite rare.

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Next was an amazing falconry talk and show. It was amazing to learn that they aren’t native to the AED but the Bedouin trained them to hunt after noticing their migratory patterns. They could fully train them in 3 weeks and then would release them again for the summer. It was too hot for them to live there so they would just release them and re catch and train in the winter. It’s now illegal to use them for hunting in Dubai but you can travel to places like Morocco. You do however need to buy them a business or first class ticket! They are treated like royalty and can cost up to 1million dirham. We then hopped on the open air vintage land rovers to travel to the traditional Bedouin encampment. We were treated with traditional coffee, rose water and a tour of the things on offer. Ayrlie and I had some henna done and Mark smoked the shisha pipe. Dinner was some rice and slow cooked lamb but my favourite was definitely the camel stew. That was bloody delicious! (Much more delicious than the camel milk…that I can pass on.) They performed a traditional drums dance where everyone could join in. The kids really loved that. Before leaving we sat down with a coffee maker who explained the process of roasting, grinding and brewing the beans to get the best flavour along with the ancient Arab customs. Traditionally, if you are only given a little coffee, it means you are welcome and they will continue to fill your cup throughout the night. If however you are given a full glass, it means you are to drink that but then kindly leave. We arrived back at the hotel at 10.30pm and after literally dragging Bb out of the bus crashed again.

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