This week we are on holidays. Yes, this is the 2nd week off school that Dave has had so far. Add to that the fact that on his last day (which was a 1/2 day) the school left a note in his mailbox saying “the government has extended the holidays by a day – mandatory.” Oh ok. If it’s mandatory I guess we’ll comply. So we’re into an 11 day holiday right now. So far we have been doing a little exploring, and more to come. You might get an extra blog this week…or two.
On the first day of the holiday we discovered the beach. You might think we live on one big beach, but you can’t swim just anywhere that you find water. Where you actually don a bathing suit is allowed only in certain spots. People keep asking me ‘what would happen if you dressed inappropriately somewhere?’ It’s a good question. Let me be clear, there doesn’t seem to be morality police wandering around. Not that we’ve seen but we try hard not to offend anyone. Apparently if you went swimming at our local waterfront you’d likely be told by someone not to swim there. Maybe even the police. But they would just be moving you along. Kind of like if you try to sleep on the beach at home (don’t ask me how I know that). If you’re dressed inappropriately you’d attract some unwanted stares and the look of reproach of those who take modesty very seriously. You will not be thrown in jail or fined as some have wondered.
So the beach. It’s about 45 minutes from our house and gorgeous. White-ish sand. Huge kites flying. People parked along the beach setting up camp for the day or even the night (no one cares here if you just pitch a tent and stay the night). There were a few horses running along the beach. ATVs. And every nationality you can imagine. It was lovely, and it was the first time I dipped my toes in the Arabian Sea. Dave dipped his whole self in.
Yesterday we went to see/hear the Singing Sand Dunes. There were several parts of this outing that I did NOT expect.
So far I haven’t seen anything that would resemble the desert that is in my mind. The typical rolling hills of sand, dunes, ripples and patterns forming. Mostly what we see resembles pictures of the moon. Rubble. Flat sand-scapes. So I was very excited about the Singing Dunes and they did not disappoint.
I did not expect them to just rise out of the earth like they did. I expected the landscape to change gradually. But no, they literally rise out of the moon like earth as if someone dumped them there.
And then the singing – well, it wasn’t quite singing. It was more of a deep rumble and it occurs when you slide down the side of the dune. You can feel it vibrate beneath you. Sounds like a plane taking off…or a motorcycle in a tunnel…one of those kids toys, the tube you whip around and it makes a noise – am I getting the idea across? Apparently there is another noise to be heard as the wind whips through the dunes but we didn’t hear that. It needs to be super dry for that to happen – maybe summertime-dry??
We travelled out in a convoy of 6 cars, had a picnic at the foot of the dunes, watched the sun set and the moon rise and were completely satisfied and happy with whole excursion.
Stay tuned for more holiday outings as the Eid Al-Adha break continues!
Pictures of the beach and then the sand dunes below – I trust you’ll know which are which.