So, out of the desert and back to the Global hub HQ of Singapore.. With ONE major and painful difference. In a bid to cut all overheads, I sold the Nomadmobile before I departed for the UAE. Today was my first day without it… And in short, its felt like an absolute sufferfest. I won’t lie, losing the apartment was a pain the ass, but not having wheels has been a step up on the Hateometer. Its an express way to turn a place you were marginal on into a screaming nightmare!
Anyway… On to something waaaay more positive, a massive dirty shout out to T-Tap who right now is about to get it ON in the Kona Ironman event! Not just any Ironman, but his first one! Talk about picking a prestigious event and location for an Iron debut. Good luck Tony and go hard – I don’t usually condone one one piece silliness, but full respect for taking the Kona beast on. Good to see some serious prep going down as well, the DN OCD approves:
Righto, on to the UAE debrief and wrap up… To start with, as everybody loves a motherF montage, here is another one with some never before seen footage that sums up the Gulf Kingdom adventure:
Thanks to the Teacher for setting up this adventure and being a legend road trip homeboy, navigation skills that are the envy of the modern world to boot. So – How would I sum the place up? Well, it has been interesting and unique for sure… Some points that stood out for me on reflection:
- To make grass grow here, it needs to be watered, a lot… Using water that comes from a Desalination plant… Which uses a lot of electricity… Which is generated by burning gas and diesel… Worlds most expensive grass? Fairly likely
- If there was no Oil here, NO one would be here
- Without any real evidence to support this, I have never felt more unsafe road riding than I did here. Hard to pinpoint given how good the roads were and how wide the shoulders were. I think it was a combo of some of the ex-pats being nervy, having a chase car and not to mention, the speed some of the SUV’s smoke along at
- I can appreciate why ex-pats would stay here for a long time… Its always summer, no tax, petrol is cheaper than water, domestic help. All good stuff… But I don’t think I could do it, actually, I don’t think I would last as it wouldn’t take long for me being booted out for either an involuntary F or C bomb, or a combo of the two…
- The riding and racing scene was surprisingly health – Better race scene than in Singapore, by a long way. Then again, a lot more abandoned desert road to race on
- If this was going into ‘winter’, it would freak me right out to be there in ‘summer’ – The term ‘epic burn‘ comes to mind…
- Building really expensive bike paths and using an F1 track for riding on may not seem like the most common sense approach or use of cash, but I fully endorse it in a place that is clearly not short of a few quid. Speaking of which, what to do with so much cash? Golden ponies of course, because, well, because you can:
Would I recommend for a holiday? Er… No… Could you do a few days in Dubai for a look around? Perhaps as you transit to Europe, to tick it off the list, best time to go would be between now and Feb I suspect, being ‘winter’ and all.
Was it a unique experience? Absolutely, and on reflection, if you had said to me 6 months ago I would be riding in the desert I would have called you a gimp and invested in a good 5 mins taking the piss out of you, so it just goes to show how you never know where a path can take you next!