Day 35: Desert Safari

Today we had signed up for a desert safari, courtesy of Groupon.

I definitely cannot say that I would do this again but here’s a breakdown of the activities and the pros and cons. Our tour cost 169AED and I wouldn’t pay a cent more.

Included:
-pick up in town and transfer to desert camp (drive takes about 1.5hrs)
-dune bashing (about 20 minutes long)
-dinner
-small henna tattoo  (bigger or different design is extra)
-unlimited beverages
-horse and camel ride
-falcon “show”
-traditional dress-up
-ATVs
-short film about UAE

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Pros:
-unlimited drinks
-dune bashing
-very kind and helpful staff

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Cons:
-horses (and camels?) unkempt and not well cared for. One horse literally shied from my touch and both could’ve used extra weight. I don’t know what constitutes a healthy camel but I sure felt guilty as can be getting on that thing.
-dinner: not very fresh, less than tasty
-ATVs not worth the extra money for the simple loop laid out and short time allowed. I guess if you’re not from a country where every other person has one you could go on in a beautiful wilderness setting maybe it’s fun?
-dune bashing too short!
-overall cost vs worthwhile activities
-STYROFOAM PLATES AND CUPS!!!!!

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I think this kind of thing could be quite cool in a smaller group arrangement with higher standards but this just came off as the Wal-Mart of tours: tacky, en masse, cutting corners for profit. Overall, save your money and put it towards a more socially and environmentally conscious activity.

Also, please note,  you will never see the photo of us in “traditional dress”. It is hugely unflattering and I could feel my feminist side getting ready to rage as I muted my very existence in the drab, black garments.

Also,  I know I still have two posts to finish for Jordan. Because I was feeling sick,  I couldn’t type on the bus and plane like I usually can and my other excuse is our crappy internet and power connection for a few days in Jordan. I will get to it!

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