A Desert Safari

After the excitement of the Grand Prix we managed a few quiet days. Our next big adventure was a Dubai desert safari experience. Other than shopping this is one of the most common tourist activities in Dubai.

According to the travel websites there are a range of options but broadly speaking the more you pay the more you get. The more expensive trips even include gold-colored vehicles, it seems that matters to some people. IT Guy picked one of the bigger Dubai desert safari tour operators because regularly seeing their vehicles around Dubai gave him confidence the company was reputable.

IT Guy had arranged pick up at a hotel near where he lives. Of course bad timing with laundry meant we were watching the washing machine timer when we should have been catching a taxi. This meant a mad dash to the hotel and then of course we sat for 20 mins waiting for our car to arrive.

Our first stop inside the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve was a falconry display and I was amused to learn that the the falconer was South African. Near the end of the display the falcon settled on the dune and I think the falconer starting to worry about getting his bird back, fortunately she returned.

This was followed by dune bashing. For me it was the highlight of the trip but near the end IT Guy was struggling with car sickness. At least one of the vehicles had to stop. Fortunately for IT Guy we soon stopped to watch the sunset.

A picture of cars driving through the dunes
A picture of the sun setting over the dunes

Then onto a Bedouin-style camp. We had our photos taken with a falcons. We also tried out the sandboarding although halfway up the dune I remembered how difficult sand is to walk in, and was regretting my decision. Sadly I can’t say the sandboarding down was worth the effort for me. We also had a short camel ride.

Once we got inside the camp we had just enough time to get a drink and then the starters were served. We found a nice spot around a fire and settled to enjoy our food and drinks. Our package included drinks so there were regular trips to the bar.

After we had eaten we both got henna tattoos. I was impressed at the speed with which the lady was able to draw a delicate pattern on my hand.  Then we watched the end of the belly dancing. Once that was finished, the lights were turned out for 5 mins. A sad reflection of modern technology is that most people turned on their cell phone flashes which I felt spoilt the moment.

There were element of the trip that were very touristy. Still that is expected. Overall I really enjoyed the desert safari and I would recommend going if you visit Dubai.

Romance, Durban and Dubai

There was me trying to focus on developing more of a travel blog by with details of my trip to Durban but it seems that some of my readers are more interested other information.  I had thought that my post on how I was getting on with IT Guy would cover things but it seems not.

I pointed out that I had no intention of writing a sex blog but those weren’t the details.    Just more on the relationship side of things with IT Guy.  I struggled for a while, trying to think what to add.  The fact that we held hands as we walked down the Golden Mile or could sit with a comfortable silence while watching the sunset.  Or perhaps that I was willing to compromise on the choice of restaurant. I am not a fan of seafood.  I enjoy some fish but it is limited to things like battered fish and chips, salmon or a nice piece of tuna steak.  Actually it was nice to have more fish than I would normally.

I started thinking that perhaps I needed to rewind to Dubai to provide more of the story.  So I started a post about more details about what happened in Dubai.  A few details which I think showed the initial nerves and uncertainties that go with the start of a relationship, but also rather personal.

Then yesterday IT Guy said something which reminded how much he values his privacy.  He doesn’t even have a Facebook account.  It got me wondering how much he would be comfortable with me sharing.

He knows I have a blog.  I plan to show it to him when the time is right but I haven’t yet.   I prefer he hears my stories in the normal organic way you would in most relationships.

I though the original post would make a nice story but my gut said don’t share.  In the end I decided to listen to my gut.  Why would I risk this relationship for a few blog posts?  Especially when you consider that he also asked if he could have a replica trophy cabinet and bar, if we ever live together.

Garath Southgate carrying a trophy cabinet box outside IKEA

So I guess that means I need to give a little more though to what information I should share and what not to share.


Amazing first date

I know it has been a little while since my last post.  I have been suffering from a cold and did not even feel up to reading other posts for a few days.  It is not very surprising after the awesome craziness of last weekend which is the other reason it has been a while since I published anything.  My head is still a little fuzzy so I may well find myself fixing errors later in the week.

Does a long weekend count as a first date?  The trip up Table Mountain does not count because his brother was there and I didn’t appreciate where things were going.  There has been more than one occasion, where a friend has pointed out that a guy was trying to hit on me, and I was completely oblivious.

I find it surprising how much IT guy and I have in common, including a love of the theater.  So when he suggested I join him for a show we both liked I laughed and agreed.  He’d had a few drinks and I assumed he was joking.  So I was stunned when the following day he sent me a screenshot of possible tickets and asked if I really did want to join him.  There followed some craziness to sort travel documents.  In the end my visa came through the day before I was due to fly and the flight tickets were booked at the last minute.

The Dubai weekend is Friday and Saturday.  I arrived Friday morning we had some coffee and breakfast and then he had to go out for a few hours.  This was perfect for me because it gave me time to shower and sleep in front of the telly for a few hours.  (It is a 9.5 hour overnight flight from Cape Town to Dubai.)  He messaged regularly with updates.  We then decided to visit Dubai Mall.  It turns out that shopping is a popular Friday afternoon activity in Dubai so after driving around the carpark for a while we decided to go to a smaller mall.

Saturday it seemed the weather was a bit cooler so we went to Dubai Marina.  It turns out it was too hot to walk from Marina Mall to the beach, but we did it anyway and had to go on a mission to find some water.  After taking a few photos we caught a taxi back to the mall and went to find some food.  That evening was the show and it was really good.

A picture of some high rise buildingsHigh rise buildings near the beach

The following day we visited Dubai Mall.  A massive and interesting place.  I bought a few things and we had some food but mostly we just walked around.  I still can’t get my head round the idea that we managed to spend 6 hours there.  It passed in a flash.  I think something to do with the company.

Then the following day it was an early start to catch my flight home and back to reality.  After an awesome, crazy, fun weekend.