Here is my host in Dubai – Vivek Sathish, a mallu, a South India and an avid motorcyclist. He was also a long time member on xBhp by the handle : CBR954RR. Obviously he owned and rode the same bike. He has been settled in Dubai forever and knows it and the motorcycling c community in and out. And Oh!, he also works for Audi in Dubai, the now parent company of Ducati.
^This is Vivek, a very down to earth and helpful individual and my host in Dubai.
So, yesterday he invited me over to his place for a quick dinner. There it was decided that we will leave at 4.30 AM (yes, that early) the next day to avoid the heat! We decide to go towards the Al Khail road, which goes through a desert environment with sand dunes on both sides followed by a road which has some amazing sweeping corners that would not look out of place on a MotoGP track.
And off we went today. It was ‘not hot’ at that hour in the morning today and we made good time to reach the Al Khail road just after sun let its hair down. The light was good but the sun was getting in top gear faster than the fastest laptime The Stig would have ever done!
The roads all the way were smooth and although I was always apprehensive, no one ever did jump in the middle of the road in the urban areas. It was all super.
As we left the urban behind, the scenery changed dramatically. It became even more barren and golden with sand dunes sometimes stretching as far as the eyes could see. Flatlands. Giant power towers with high voltage powerlines disappearing into the haze on the horizon. It was a scene almost out of a MadMax post apocalyptic era.
The set was complete when we actually hit the Al Khail road. Some places sand made its way on the road as if it was alive. Yes, shifting sands, they were.
After a terrific photo session, spotting some camels and spending half an hour dragging the MultiStrada off 10 metres of soft sand back on the road (! ), we headed out pronto to Dubai.
Today, I and the MTS were supposed to be at the Ferry office in Sharjah at 10 AM, and it was already 8.20AM.
After a quick dash to the Najd Hotel in Dubai, packing the bags I was off to Sharjah. I was told Sharjah is a congested place and I was a little wary of it. But it was not so. It didn’t have tall and flashy building like Dubai but the roads and traffic sense were definitely not bad and ultimately I did find the Ferry office in Sharjah after I paid a taxi guy to let me trail him to the location.
A note of caution to GPS users here in UAE, especially Dubai: The road network keeps changing a lot, much like the shifting sands. Since its not really democratic, the government need not worry about anyone coming and filing a stay order when any digging is required. If the Sheikh or the government wants a road somewhere, they will have it post haste. No one will ask questions.
So have a GPS, but don’t swear by it.
Anyways, so here it was. Al Hili Marine Services, it read. It was a small but clean and air conditioned office (of course everything has to be AC here, otherwise people will burn in the heat!). I produced my Carnet and passport etc to travel on the Ferry to Bander Abbas, Iran.
Then the bomb dropped.
I was told I cannot travel to Iran. And why not? We will come to know in the next blog. Stay tuned.
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