Saturday became a search for camels. The drive from Abu Dhabi took us through the back roads to the Dubai Camel Race Track. With no plan in place Al likes to head out to see what unfolds. I have to admit the day unfolded perfectly finding camels on and off the racetrack.
First stop was to admire camels from afar just in case these were the only ones we would see. Some sort of fence kept them off the road. There were adults and babies in the distance. Al and I waited in the car. The drive was pleasant and the sand in this are was very light coloured. Dunes were mostly non-existent. On the back roads traffic generally was light but one crazy red car flew by us! It must have been going over 140! It scared Elaine, Dick and I but Al did see it coming last minute in the mirror. I just don't get it! As we near the race track a truck loaded with camels appeared in front of us. They were, of course all tethered down so we couldn't see too much.
Elaine did a wonderful job of navigating using Al's iPad and google maps. Before we knew it we arrived at the Dubai Camel race track. I really wanted to find a bathroom and knew it may be impossible as everything is closed today. Trainers and maintenance people are everywhere so stopping to ask for toilet was the best option. The worker kindly gave us the key to unlock the mens washroom and directed us on how to get there.
The entertainment at the washroom area was a small pick-up cricket game with about 4 guys. We chat and do our necessary ablutions before we head off to explore the race track in our car freely driving around with no one stopping us. The guys at the cricket game informed us that March 19-31 camel races come to this stadium for the finals of the season. Excellent! Plans are made to return on Saturday, the day before Elaine and Dick have to leave.
We didn't have to look very far when Elaine noticed the group of camels on the race track; all with riders. It looked as though the camels were going for a training ride. Al positions the car to follow them along the road beside the track. Elaine manages a great first video from the car window. The riders realize they have an audience and begin to hoot, holler and carry on just happy to show off for us. As they pass us by, Al decides to speed up and pass them far enough ahead so we have enough time to get out of the car to cheer them on again as they approach us. This continued a few more times enhancing the excitement for the riders. Next, we took a guess as to which finish line the riders would end up at and headed there to wait for them. The riders approached the finish line and noticed us which made for a great finish. Many thanks from the riders.
More groups of camels with riders approach. More photos and video opportunities until finally we had to admit it was time to move on. This track, is on the eastern outskirts of Dubai. With the google map showing Marina Mall almost directly west Al decided to take us there where he knows there is easy, free parking.
The marina walk outside the Dubai Marina Mall is among tall buildings, nice boats, and restaurants. Being quite hungry by now, we found the "Little More" restaurant to sit at along the marina. Three of them ordered huge hamburgers and I ordered the homemade seafood ravioli with a lemon sauce. YUM!
Following dinner Al drove us home to our villa in Al Reef. What a great day!