Desert driving

March 12, 2011

It took me more than six years here in desert land to experience dune bashing (a.k.a. desert safari)  desert driving in a Fortuner 2.7. And riskily -- without the golden rules! We drove alone, no shovels, no compressor, no tow ropes, and no experience in sand maneuvering and gaining momentum.

I say risky and I emphasize Fortuner 2.7 because this car is supposed to be a heavy and less powered SUV, which is normally not apt for dune bashing (not enough torque to pull itself through loose sand). But since the Falaj Al Moalla dunes are low and not really tricky (within the tracks), we made to cross it. My husband doesn't really call our drive dune bashing, just plain desert  driving :)

At the middle of the desert's wilderness, we relied heavily on our Explorer book.  No other car trudged the tracks at the time we were there, so at some points, it was heart pounding. We have to follow the book dot-by-dot, and the car's odometer has been into use. Twice, we went back to our last origin restarting the odometer when we realized we entered the wrong fork (where the sand track branches to two directions). And yes -- we did got stuck, when the wheels were just spinning in place and shoveling sand out to the air. Thankfully our dear Driver knew how to rely on his momentum equation.



Falaj Al Moalla

The drive has these distances according to the UAE Off-road Explorer:  50kms from Dubai to start of route, 30.8 km paved and 25.7 km unpaved route, 99kms end of route to Dubai. From Dubai, we started from E311, exited E55, then entered Biyatah. As soon as we reached the highway, we decided to head back home (there's a second route after crossing the highway).

Apart from getting us to pray we'll make it out well, the drive isnt at all plain, with the animals and ghaf trees seen along the way. I even saw a green bird near the farm, which frustrated me so much not having a zoom lens.

Cows and donkeys along the way

One of the markers - where to enter

Common sight along the route -- Ghaf trees

In this farm is overflowing water into a tank
Another landmark -- a line of ghaf trees
What the Gremlin loves most of the trip - scooping the sand
Just as we were to exit to the highway, the car was unable to pass these loose sand  and luckily it was able to turn back until we found another exit.

We were alongside this camel, I was glad it didn't stoop down my open window.

You may click HERE  for more photos.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. I like your photos! You're brave for the desert drive. When we had the dune bashing (under a tour), we were like riding with a trumpo. Hahahaha. But overall, it was really a memorable experience. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ganda, ganda ng mga photos! I really like the perspective of the 4th photo. Thanks for "taking us" to RAK.

    Been to RAK once or twice pero hindi ko pa nasubukang pasukin ang disyerto.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Cool! I love the photos. Sino pa ang magsasabi na walang buhay ang disyerto. It simply is another world. Alive with various flora, animals and birds.

    Pero don't ever venture the desert without a proper car and an experienced guide. Mahirap na.

    But I'm sure your family, especially G, enjoyed it.☺

    ReplyDelete
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