This post should have been up on Xmas day but thanks to non availability of internet, and tight schedule in the office. Better late than never.
Hope everyone reading this had a very nice Christmas Eve. I think in many many many years I had a great Christmas. I don’t remember the last time when I had fun, 25-Dec sounded nothing more than a holiday from work all these years. But this year it was not so. This Christmas in short was 140, 180,190 kmph, 3-4 full tanks of petrol and lot of driving. A perfect Christmas.
Our blogosphere is no different to challenges and contests. I decided to throw myself a challenge, a decent one. I like petrol head challenges that involve rigorous driving activities, as you all might know by now. Someday I wish to do a BB1600 which is a 24 hour saga to cover 1600 kms. I have never mentioned that I stay in United Arab Emirates, though most of you guys indirectly know it from my pics, posts. I think one of the most driver friendly places in terms of fuel price, car and roads. I will comment on the later stage about driving sense in one sentence.
Around 8 months ago, when my son golfey was born, I rode up to Al-Ain (which is a lesser known emirate). I rode there to drive around the twisties of Jebel Hafeet. I had seen a couple of pics of the place and it became my dream to drive there. Any proper rear wheel drive car (please don’t read muscle cars, they hate corners) would love to do those roads. They look like a proper drift track (pics will follow). I had a front wheel drive, but doesn’t matter. So I went to Al-Ain and came back without visiting these roads. This was because I was very new to him (golfey) and he was being an untamed beast. I can’t quite explain how it feels to directly drive a powerful car from having zero experience. It’s scary to be honest. You never know if you give it a bit of extra beans, you will end up in the valley or some other cars boot, but you love to give it the beans for the engine is so rev-friendly. That said, I really wanted to go to Jebel Hafeet and this Christmas, Jebel Hafeet became a challenge.
So the challenge was that I reach Jebel Hafeet before the sun rises or at least at the sun rise. What’s so difficult about this? Jebel Hafeet in Al-Ain is as far as 250 kms from my house and I threw the challenge to myself at 1:00 am in the morning on 25th Dec 2014. As a first part of the challenge, I should be able to get up and leave by 4:30 am in the morning which by itself looked not happening. If by any chance, I wake up I will carry on with the challenge. That was the idea when I fell on my bed at quarter past 1 am.
Alarm rings at 4:15am, I slap on my phone and alarm rings became past tense. Then exactly at 4:30 am my roommate rings the door bell. Oh, I left the keys in the door key-hole; he can’t open it from the outside. He has night shift duty. I open the door, back on my bed but I was unable to sleep. The door bell rang for a reason. Jebel Hafeet was calling me. I am up and charging. Taking a quick shower and getting my hands on the little left corn-flakes to keep me charged till I reach my destination, by 5am in the morning I am off to Jebel Hafeet for a solo travel, my favorite.
So as for the planning of the trip,
I didn’t check my camera battery status, which had almost drained. I didn’t check my fluid levels in the car. I didn’t set my map. I did nothing. Only thing I was sure of was the car tire was check and pressurized. I don’t have a puncture kit, a first aid kit or nothing of that sort.
So will I make it to Jebel Hafeet before the sun rays reach or will this be another failure?
I am going to leave the Jebel Hafeet challenge for the last (saving the best for last) and carry on with the other details of my journey.
The garden emirate of UAE or the land of a thousand roundabouts, Al-Ain is the most beautiful of all the other emirates in terms of visual appeal. Period. The greenery, the flowers and the heartwarming chill will leave you in love with this place. Al-ain is directly sponsored by the capital of UAE, Abu-dhabi. The oil money makes sure that Al-ain looks and feels class apart. The only thing one must be careful is the driving and roundabouts. People there are so used to roundabouts that they enter in one lane and exit in another. Just keep your eyes and ears open while near a roundabout.
So moving on,
Green spring in other words is located below the mountains. A green place which had a marvelous charm to it. Pictures would definitely prove me right. It’s very easy to find out once you have seen Jebel Hafeet. People also are so good that you can ask them for guidance and they will be very happy to guide you.
I am attaching a Google map copy of the place.
So basically, I was told by my ex-manager (who no more works with me) that he had taken his family there. He also mentioned about the hot spring flowing and I was there in search of hot spring. I was amazed by the hot spring, cos this I see all the time on the roads in India. But I sat there with my legs dipped in for a few mins to help me warm up a bit.
Then as usual walk around and check out the places.
By then my designated main camera was no more alive. I had to use my mobile camera, which was not that great but did it’s job.
There was a small cafeteria from where I had a small snack and henceforth let the pics do all the talking.
So here is something that I clicked from the cafeteria.
From there I march on to
Al-Ain zoo :
Al-Ain zoo was quite nearby as per the people in cafeteria but lack of sign boards made it very far for me. This is not the first time I am getting lost in Al-Ain due to lack of necessary sign boards. But in the end what mattered was I found the zoo and a quick visit was made possible.
It is said to be the largest zoo across the UAE. There were ample of space for the animals to move around, far from the ones I have seen. I am not a great fan of zoo, cos it’s kind of depressing to see animals caged. I don’t really appreciate it. There was no point in going there, apart from the mandatory sight seeing visit.
Since my official camera was dead, my mobile did the honors of clicking pics.
I don’t know what order WP follows when a selection of media is inserted in the post but this Merc A class was selected last. I am not rearranging the pics, hell no.
This is something for the WP people to work on right there, rather than messing up the looks of the site.
So these are all the pics that I have from the zoo. All of it 😀
I ended my zoo visit by say 12 noon and I was very tired to do anything more. All I wanted was go back. I ran back to my car, on the way I saw the A class (the first pic) and then I drove towards ‘home sweet home’. I was kind of drowsy, hence I had to stop at one of the petrol stations and get something to eat. Also a power nap in the car gave me all energy required to drive back at a 140 kmph. 😉
In the next post I’ll put up the Jebel Hafeet challenge, which has the best incidents of the lot and the best pics also of the lot. So will I make it to Jebel Hafeet before sun rise? Stay tuned.