EDITOR’S NOTE: Lone Peak basketball player Nick Curtis and his teammates have been participating in an international tournament in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Curtis has been writing a journal to share with Tribune readers on his experiences.
Today, we had our desert safari day.
It began with us getting into a modern-day Jeep and driving out to the outskirts of the land. After about an hour of driving, our driver sharply turned off the road into the sand desert. Confused and excited to see what was going to happen next, we just fastened our seatbelts.
It was probably the craziest off-roading I have ever done in my life. There would literally be times where our car would be completely sideways and when it seemed as though we were going to flip. Each time, our driver somehow miraculously saved us.
It felt like riding a roller-coaster, except you had no idea which way your car was going to turn.
To make things even better, our driver decided to play music. It wasn’t like you could barely hear it. He was blasting it like there was no tomorrow.
To sum up our Jeep ride, there were crazy sand dunes. I thought I was going to die about once every minute. And we were listening to classic Arabian music blast.
I guess you could say we were rolling with some Arabian swagger.
After our Jeep adventure, we drove to a small camp. We had driven through the sand to get there, so this camp was in the middle of nowhere in the desert.
We got out of the car and now it was time for the next adventure. Every little shop and building in this small camp was made of wood. As we ventured toward the back of the camp, we had owners constantly trying to sell us their merchandise. We politely told them not right now.
Toward the back, we laid eyes on what we were so excited to do. There were camels, and we were going to ride them. We walked quickly, reaching the camels faster than any other team.
After what seemed like an eternity, actually about five minutes, it was finally my turn. I mounted the camel just like you mount a horse, except the camel was kneeling down.
The native there told me to hold on tight, so I really squeezed the saddle tight. Then, in a sudden movement, the camel rose up, starting with his back feet. That almost flipped me over. He then moved slowly to his front feet.
Riding the camel felt like riding a horse, except you were a lot higher in the air, and the camel made different noises than a horse.
After everyone rode the camel, it was time for dinner. We were entertained by a cultural belly dancer.
Overall, our night truly felt like a cultural experience.
Sand dunes, Arabian food and other experiences made it one to remember.
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