Once again Trish and I were awake early. She turned on the coffee pot at 5 am (Trish is clever enough to prepare it the night before so all that is needed is a switch flick) and I wandered out of our room somewhere near 6. The sky was just lightening with the dawn and within an hour there was a lovely golden glow on the lower level of the Burj Khalifa. We were packed up and on the road at 10. While stopped at a traffic light I commented on all the large concrete columns along the cross road. I thought perhaps the Metro rapid transit system was being enlarged to service the area. “No,” John said, “They are going to dredge the Dubai Creek to the ocean and all this section of road will be torn up and flooded. That is where the road will go over the Creek when the project is completed.” Only in Dubai does perfectly good infrastructure get torn up or re-routed to accomodate a new idea. I don’t know if there is actually a City Planner in Dubai but if there is he must be bald by now.
There was only one MUST DO on our list before leaving the city – according to Trish anyway. I don’t think the rest of us cared one way or the other, but she had two specific objectives if she made it to Dubai during our visit: buy a pair of Converse runners (2 pair for the price of one – success) and visit the Harley Davidson shop to get some T-shirts for herself and her friends.
Our daughter loves to ride (I think she got that from John) and her Harley is her most prized possession. By the time we found a parking spot and braved the continuous traffic stream to cross the street she was almost vibrating with excitment. The three of us patiently humoured her as she drooled over the bikes, looked at the accessories and novelty items, and selected the shirts she wanted to buy. Yesterday at the souks she mentioned a couple of times that she would love to come to Dubai with an unlimited budget. Today it would all have been spent in the Harley shop. So….success on item number two. Well done Trish. And thank you Carrie for navigating through the traffic maze to get her there.
After we pried Trish out of the Harley shop we hit the road for our return to Muscat. Traffic was definitely lighter than our journey up here but the usual traffic issues cropped up now and again. Trish and Carrie shared comment duties. The animal count on the trip home was 57 camels and 71 goats; still no donkeys. John also counted four chickens, a dog, and 2 Brahmin cattle. The sand drifts across the road and builds up against the meridian.
We went off-roading for a half mile due to road construction. Carrie was very careful going over the ruts and bumps in Joseph’s BMW. Both sides of the highway as you enter the city limits of Muscat are lined with palm trees, flowers and grass. The sprinklers were running when we drove up to Dubai and were on again as we came back down. We arrived back at Joseph and Carrie’s villa just after 4 pm. We had a bit of a delay at the Oman border crossing as Trish needed to purchase another 10 day tourist visa. We had discussed the visas with Joseph and Carrie before coming and knew there were 10 day and 30 day visas available. John and I are going to be in Oman for 30 days so when we entered the country we bought 30 day visas. This turned out to be a bad decision. And if I had thought for a moment I would have realized it. Unless there is a multiple entry visa available for the country you are visiting the visa you purchase is a one time entry. So….our $20 rhial ($60 Cdn) visas (each) were no longer valid for re-entry into Oman. We had to complete the forms and purchase two more 30 day visas to cover the rest of our visit. Oops. But we arrived safe and sound. Joseph bought steaks on his way home from work and the grill worked its usual magic. We had a great time in Dubai and look forward to a few more jaunts during our stay. I don’t think any of them will involve six hour drives though.