My first camping experience was in Sherwood forest in Nottingham U.K. Two nights ago, we were invited to go camping which would be my first time here in UAE. I hesitated to go because I was going on holiday and there are I things that I needed to do before my flight, but I am glad that I went.
It turned out to be an amazing adventure from start to end. The plan was to go to Al Aryam Island in Abu Dhabi. I don’t regularly go to Abu Dhabi so driving there would be an adventure already. In addition to that, we had to go there at night.
There original plan was 17 people in 3 cars and we will all meet up at Deira City Centre. Yeah, fitting 17 people in 3 cars – challenge number 1. At 17:30 on Thursday, S and I started on our way. She will drive our car while I was entrusted to drive the other car which will be coming from Sharjah courtesy of Carla’s husband (My Yellow Bells). In order to beat the Dubai – Sharjah traffic on a Thursday rush hour, we decided that S will drop me on the Dubai side of the border and I will just cross to Sharjah by foot and she can go on to meet the rest of the group at DCC.
I went on up to help Jill (@jillykitchen) with the gear and all the food and drinks that we will bring with us. After seeing all of it, I knew instantly that it will be another challenge to fit them all in the cars. Bringing them all down was also a challenge because the apartment is on the 20th floor! I felt that some of the resident in that building were upset as we had to hold the elevator while loading and unloading all those stuff.
Then the other car came, a Toyota Fortuner. I didn’t realize that the car was a 7 seater with 2 folding seats on the compartment. After seeing it, I thought to myself, I may have overestimated the capacity of the car compartment. Putting our minds together we managed to make all of our food and gear fit. I called S and told her that were not going to fit as the seats in the compartment cannot be used since there is barely space in the compartment for our gear. It was what they call a blessing in disguise because one of the couple that was to go with us decided to rent a car and bring it with them. Then off we go to meet everyone else.
At the assembly area, we did some adjustment to transfer some of the gear in our car so that I can see my rear-view better, did the final head count, agreed on the route and then off to Abu Dhabi. We only made one stop on the way to meet up with Ken, Myla and Ricky.
I was leading the convoy with Arence as my navigator with Jill as our communications officer. The drive to Abu Dhabi was smooth until the part leading up to the entrance of the island. Due to road constructions, it was difficult to see the road signs and none of us knows the place by heart. It was good that Arence had a map and knows someone to call in case we got lost. If we had gotten lost going there it would have been a total disaster because it turns out the U turn on the road is almost an hour drive away.
It was a rough road from the entrance of the island leading to our selected campsite. After choosing a spot, everybody got busy some setting up their tents while some started to prepare our dinner. Everyone was excited about dinner because Jill cooked Lechon – a Filipino delicacy – that is very time consuming and difficult to cook that it is surely a hit whenever it is served on any occasion. When everyone was done with everything else, it was time for dinner. It was worth the drive and worth the wait, the lechon was fantastic. It was so good that some of us started to be worried about hypertension – S included!
After dinner comes dessert. I’m not a dessert person but I enjoyed watching everyone roast marshmallows.
I can tell that everyone was having fun because nobody was feeling tired even at almost midnight. Until after 02:00 when some started to call it a day, but not me. I was enjoying listening to their stories — they are bloggers after all, telling stories is what they do. I didn’t feel sleepy at all and I didn’t want to miss out on the knowledge that I can learn from all of them.
They are bloggers but they are also humans with real life along with its challenges. We talked about all sorts of things, politics, movies, mystery, ghost stories, romance and life in general. There were a couple of things that I would like to quote:
Blogging is supposed to be something that you do for fun
I agree with him, if you enjoy doing something keep doing it. If it starts to give you stress, it may be time to think of doing something else.
Don’t be bothered about other success, it won’t make you a failure
– Doc Gelo
We should be happy if somebody we know succeeds in life for the same reason that we want others to be happy for us if we do succeed. (By the way, his second photo book is now out – check our side bar or go to the website!)
Everyone was in agreement that we should do it again. That was before we realized that the U turn going back to Dubai will take us almost an hour to find.
In January 2016 we will say goodbye to Ken as he expands his horizons and explore the world. I am sure there will be more fun events like this one before we wave bon voyage to him.
See more photos here:
@agodulio – yes, I have my own Instagram account, add me up!