East Coast trip...

Posted: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 by Stained in Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Woke up at 3am, got dressed in 20mins and got picked up by SJ at 3:30am. After a 20mins wait for Begg and Beila to join us and a long stop over at a petrol pump to fill wheezing me up with hot tea, we made our way on to Emirates Road (it was 4:30am by then). We took the University road exit that would take us straight to Kalba. Half way through our journey, thick fog enveloped us reducing visibility to around 10metres in some places. Slowly we crawled into the mountains leaving the fog behind. A quick Fajr prayer stop in a deserted town near Wadi Al Hilo freaked out Begg and Beila. At around 6am, we were standing at the mouth of the Wadi-Al Hilo tunnel (also known as Kalba tunnel), one of the longest tunnels in the UAE. A calculated risk and we managed to snap up this almost perfect symmetry shot.

We then headed off to Khor Kalba and the beach beyond to watch the sun rise over the Arabian Sea. Using the short depth of field and macro capabilities of the Sigma 24mm f1.8, I tried to snap up some creative shots. We spent around two hours there that including vandalizing (more like photographing) an abandoned Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 truck, checking out some dead sea-creatures and other random stuff.

We then headed into Fujairah to grab some Breakfast. Choices were scarce as most of the restaurants were closed, so we had to settle for a typical Indian fast food cafeteria called Green Valley restaurant. I ordered a Pizza while the rest choose eggs. The food was quite bad though edible.

Back to Kalba, we went into adventure mode and decided to check out the mostly deserted farm lands. The poor Yaris had to face a lot of abuse on these dirt roads courtesy tree branches, rocks and fences. It even had one of its bumper partially pulled off by a barb wire and had to be put together with tape. Thankfully it’s a rent a car and therefore no huge repair bills to worry about. In the 3 hours we were in there, we did a shoot for an abandoned truck (with strobe lights and stuff), saw animal remains (read: goat skulls and bones), backtracked from a stinking toilet, went into spooky farms and generally went a little mad photographically speaking.
Lunch time and we found ourselves at New Sheetal seafood restaurant in Fujairah recommended by Begg. We let her do most of the ordering which was a good thing cause she ended up paying the bill as well because the food was beyond bad i.e. inedible and she felt bad about it. In addition to the bad food, the service and food presentation was one of the worst I’ve seen for a very long time.

Putting the unsatisfactory lunch behind us, we went to Hail where we drove past the fancy heritage castle/tower into Wadi Al Hail. We decided to trek as much as we could because the Yaris was incapable of handling the steep dirt road. Standing in the middle of the mountains with a strong breeze, it felt divine. The silence was a welcome change from the hustle and bustle life we live in Dubai. We got out of their just before sunset to avoid any unwanted issues (the car was really struggling plus safety) and headed home. On the way, we stopped at a sweets shop in Al Dhaid that serves delicious Punjabi samosa that were introduced to me by my parents who had discovered it 31 years back.

15 hours of awesomeness, we got home at 8pm.


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