"Lets go camping, it will be a good experience" my darling husband said... Ohh he doesn't know me one bit does he?
This obsession with trying to get me to go camping has been going on since we first met and I always make an excuse or simply remind him that I am not a camping kinda gal. I'm not a super clean freak nor am I scared of every animal and bug, I just really like my home comforts. Honestly if I don't have a cup of tea first thing in the morning I cannot function properly.
When Colin's boss suggested that we join him and his family in a desert camp for one night I agreed, this is a smart and well traveled man so I trusted his advice more than I trusted Colin. I was apprehensive about the great outdoors but heck, you only live once right?!
I looked up the camp online for reviews, this is a standard practice for me while living here as other Expats can give you good advice on what to do, where to go and what to wear. I was surprised that the camp had a good website and then I read the best bit....they have a swimming pool....in the desert! Yipeee, that was the turning point for me, maybe I could survive one night in the desert, I would have a proper bed after all...
We head off in our three car convoy and drive about 2.5 hours out of Muscat towards this camp and we stopped where the black tarmac meets the sand. The guys let some of the air out of their tires for better sand driving, don't ask me I just sit in the car and eat Pringles.. Then the drive continued (yes I did moan alot in real life too, put me on the beach for 3 hours and I am super happy, but in a car for 3 hours I am cranky and end up like a 6 year old chanting "are we there yet?")
You wouldn't find this place if you didn't know where you were going:
So we check in and find our way to our tent for the night, we were staying in the "Arabic Tent", which is basically just a tent, single beds and a toilet shared between 20 odd people. It was very basic but comfortable enough for one night.
The shared toilets were reasonably clean and had toilet roll which was a bonus, if you have spent any time in the Middle East you will understand that this is a nice luxury rather than just a hose to squirt your butt with. It was a strange experience at night time going for a pee and being able to see stars when you looked up to the sky. It was nice to be out of the city for a while but at 11pm they switch the generators off so there is no power and everything is deathly quiet.
We drove upto the top of the dunes to watch the sunset, how pretty :)
We had a pleasant evening at the camp with a buffet BBQ, some traditional music (not my thing as it sounds like a bag of kittens being tortured but I'm mentioning it incase you like that noise) and the guys had lots of Shisha.
The following morning we did a bit of sand driving and sand boarding
I even went on my first camel ride!! Me, Nilu and Hege were feeling brave and went to find our new camel friends, I fed mine a banana before we set off to seal our friendship.
The only disappointing thing about the camp was that the pool was in desperate need of attention, it was filthy!! Not one of the 10 people in our group ventured into the water. It was like a mirage, too good to be true! The deck chairs by the pool were all broken and you wouldn't trust sitting on them so hopefully if they read this review they might take notice as the rest of the camp was really nice.
The 1000 night camp was a good place to go and visit and we had a good time with great company but I sure was glad to go home to my own comforts. There wern't any scary animals, apart from when I freaked out about a butterfly, so that was a relief. Also there wern't any stupid camp fire songs like "coom byaaa my lord, coom byyyaaaaa" You know the one right?
I am still convinced that I'm not a camping kinda gal but at least I tried...
See how happy I am in the sand :)