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A Good Weekend...

This was a relaxing fun weekend for me and some of the guys, we chilled at the shaleh with a bunch of TV shows and movies. Also outside during the day one of the guys had prepared 1440 water balloons with two large sling shot launchers for them. This was anything but a normal weekend, the goal was to move as little as possible those few days and to remain close to home base.

On the day of the 25th I took three showers, change four times and I did a lot of damage with the water balloons. On the 26th I was merely spectator as I was out of energy from the day before, we took some hits and I hate foam but water balloons aren’t bad. This is first time I participate in the National and Liberation Day festivities in at least a decade. It was a lot of fun and we are lucky our side wasn’t too crowded, but it was crowded enough to be fun. I loved the next door neighbor kids who were playing around, some were adorable, and some of those 7 to 11 year olds had damn good aim. I realized during this weekend how out of shape I was but that is for another day, we had a blast and it was a lot of fun but the dust was very annoying.

NegativEffect – A New Photoblog...

I do love when talented Kuwaiti Photographers post up their pictures online, and one of those is NegativEffects. He has honed his skills and still developing it, turning to Apple as his preferred machine of editing and tweaking. So many unique shots and ideas when putting pictures together. I love his talented work because I see the same objects in front of me but I don’t see how he comes up with the ideas for pictures, I will take what tips I can from his pictures but fantastic shots, and recently added to my Google Reader.

He is also the talent behind the Desert Kings 2 Jokers Kuwait that I posted a while ago about, and he is the talent who has helped put together the latest GulfRun 5 videos. A great combiantion of photo and video talent, I’m looking forward to more from NegativEffects, check out his Photo-blog and enjoy.

Link: NegativEffect

Dhana – 5Days/4Nights...

Three weeks of planning, 30 Kilograms of meat, 7 kilograms of chicken, 8 boxes of water, 4 boxes of soda, 1 Landcruiser, 2 FJ Cruisers, and 7 guys. That is what it took to make an adventure of a lifetime. The perfect group of people to take a nomad trip to the most beautiful desert in Saudi, sleeping outside in the night sky is amazing, the sky is so clear you don’t need lights at night, the moon lights up the whole area its fantastic. You feel your chest clearing up from all the fresh air coming in, no telephone signal in the areas we were in. First night we came in and found our main camp site, and for each night we had a different camp site going in deeper and deeper into the desert. We had the Garmin 276c with the updated Saudi Desert maps, so we can coordinate our locations, walkie talkies are a must for these trips, and all the fighting takes place across the radio waves.

Took us about 5-6 hours to get to the first camp site, we started the fire to get some tea going, the smartest thing we did was have dinner before heading out to Saudi. You need a certain list of equipment for the cars, cooking, sleeping, precautions, and emergencies. I had an Iridium Satellite phone which was only to be used during emergencies, it looked like something out of 24 to call those bomber planes in the air. Then there was the air pump, jump start cables, battery charge unit, and tow cables. The tow cables I got were rated at 30’000 lbs with huge hooks at the end, they look menacing and we had to use it once because of an incident but I won’t mention that. Then there was a case that I was facing a flat tire in the rear tire, but we kept pumping up the tire and it would last the whole day so I decided not to change the tire, but when we got to Kuwait I found that the tire had two screws and one piece of would in it, those Yokomahas are tough tires, not the best but they did a fantastic job.

There were stretches of sand that we were flying over 100 kph per hour as if we are in a Dakar Rally, it was insane and my blood was pumping to an extreme point, it feels like you are floating on clouds when you are going over the soft sand. Then there was the amazing white and black camels all around, so many different kinds in all the dunes area, these camels didn’t care about us what so ever. These are some majestic dunes, they are at least 7 to 10 stories tall with dune up dune, with deep basin’s inside of them, even with pictures they don’t do reality justice, and the sand is so clean and orange, its amazing. There was even some dunes at about 20 stories high but I would have probably flipped the car backwards trying to climb it.

We had a three part day, morning for breakfast then we had out, then we find another location for afternoon break, then we head out in search for another location to find the best sleeping place. There was one point where we picked a location which was slightly slanted, and in the morning I woke up with one guy’s knee in my back and the other guy’s foot in my chest, luckily everyone was in a sleeping back. The most amazing thing was seeing the clear sky it was beautiful, you can see all the stars, you can see clearly until the horizon, it was a sight to wake up to in the morning as well. We got some rain the first night, it was a continuous light drizzle but the fire lit up and we slept perfectly fine, a little water didn’t hurt. The best part of the afternoon and evening stops was playing Risk, we played strategically making our alliances, and playing unexpectedly, I was more a Kamikaze during that game then trying to win, my goals were offense oriented, I tried killing off certain people with nothing else in mind. People were shouting, treaties were made, and troops were decimated, it was fantastic and the best time to play that board game.

The best part about it is how hungry we got, or pretty much how hungry I got and at night I would devour the food. Some of us would pass out right after, and I woke up few times at night, and I would feel some ice on top of my sleeping back but my morning it would all be gone. Some nights it got really cold but overall the weather was fantastic and I loved every moment. This was probably one of the funnest trips I had in a long time, I want to do it again, and I have a few ideas in mind for the next trip.

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Q8BBQ in Desert Outing...

Grilling on the go is the only definition of cooking in the desert, coal is your best friend and we had a lot of meat to cook. One of the surprises was one of our friends brought with him some prepacked Lambchops and Chicken Tikka from Q8BBQ. The meat were all marinated and placed in the ice box, rosemary garlic lamb chops and chicken tikka. The lamb chops tasted amazing, they were juicy and perfect, the chicken tikka was probably the best I have had in a while.

This is after we had a few hours of driving and got really hungry, cooking was simple when it came to the grill. We use the duwah as the base, burn the coal on it to prepare the coal, and start grilling on it. That day one of the guys when high up top one of the dunes to get some phone signal but it was nearly impossible to get any signal, the picture with the sand dunes and a small black dot is the guy sitting up top. Then there were the people who were hungry and sitting directly in front of the grill. After that we clean up, pack up, and keep driving around the dunes enjoying the sand.

Link: Q8BBQ
Contact Number: 99978227

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A Fun Milcha...

Last night was the Milcha of one of our good friends, and the turn out was fantastic, it felt more like a reunion then anything else. Over a four hour period I kept saying hello to people the whole time, trying to catch up with everyone, it was non-stop. The first thing in my mind was the buffet and waiting for all the food to come out, probably in a few hours and more of our friends kept showing up.

The Milcha was at Al Rayah which is a good location because of the parking, I went early to get great parking spot. Our friends picked a prime location for the food, there were so much food but I had shrimps in mind and there was a variety of it so I was looking forward to that. After all that time, then we attacked him and started taking pictures with him when all the guests left, then we proceeded to escort him to pick up his wife, it was a 30+ car parade, we enjoyed it more then he did.

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Wafra Outing...

It was raining in the city so we decided not to go riding, I worked on a few things before heading out to Wafra for lunch. The weather was perfect, a nice cold chill, a few layers of clothing, a hoody and I am good to go. These long drives have given me a good reason to clean up and work on my playlists, they do need some sorting and adjusting, I keep finding songs that I have completely forgotten about over the past few decades but now I’m getting them back into rotation. Getting the playlists right makes some of them perfect for all kinds of drives and listening to the perfect song when I’m driving, find some good oldies.

This time Bu Jasim was taking care of lunch so I was looking forward to what was on the menu. As usual I was enjoying the drive, and since it has recently rain the ground was solid except for a few soft spots to avoid. I was enjoy the bouncy ride, its like riding on clouds, and as soon as I got in there were more people this time then last time. What surprised me were the dogs, small & big (people) brought their dogs, caramel was the small one, I forgot the labrador name but it was a lot of fun too. The funny part is that labrador only understood Arabic commands, which was amazing, and caramel was a friendly small dog that just walked around and found comfort where he could. Lots of people, perfect weather with a cool breeze, the best part was the tea after the meal and relaxing outside. I can never get enough of this perfect weather and desert, a dose of this every once in a while is perfect.

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Wafra Outing...

The best time of the year to be in the desert is during winter, these are the areas just by the Wafra Farms Road. I needed a break away from the routine, so this trip came up perfectly, lunch in Wafra with family and friends. I updated my iPod, putting a couple of new playlists together with some good old school and fun songs, and working on one new one. The best time to listen to songs is on a nice long drive, and Wafra is a relaxing drive, I was in no hurry, ample time to make it to lunch.

Took me about an hour’s drive and I wasn’t sure which exit it was but managed to find it with a few phone calls with directions. Then I got on the road and it was 10.5 kilometers in a straight line, then make a right and drive 3 kilometers into the desert and I will find the camp site. It was a lot of fun to drive the Landcruiser on the sand, I was having more fun swerving back and worth, it feels like your driving on a slushy material with just enough loose traction to enjoy sliding around while maintianing traction, and some points I sped up to take small jump off a couple of hills. I avoided really wet spots, because I knew that if I slowed down too much I would sink and I didn’t want to get the car too dirty, just dirty enough. Some of those spots look deceiving and could possible suck a car in completely, I kept my joy ride at a safe level until I got to base camp.

A lot of people were there from the night earlier, some who got there earlier, and a few people who were still on the way. There was a variety of off-road capable cars and a few surprising sedans at the camp. The best part was the large tent and the duwa in the middle, tea being made on the coal is probably the best possible tasting tea. I saw a BMW GS 1200 parked to the side of the tent that I kept eying, it had all the bells and whistles with all the right options, I gave it a once over and asked Bu Zaid if I can take it for a spin later.

20 minutes after I arrived lunch was served, and I was hungry after all that time. When I’m hungry I head towards the dish that will satisfy me the most, and so I found my spot as I entered the tent. 25 minutes later all I wanted to do was remain stationary for a while, the food was fantastic, and every body was satisfied. The perfect time to have a nice hot glass of tea in this cold weather.

Then I took out the BMW GS 1200 for a spin in the desert, it had street tires and this wasn’t the adventure version so I knew it wouldn’t be as easy to ride in the desert and this is a heavy machine. I started it up and started going be I almost fell over because I slipping, of course all the guys started laughing their heads off, I regained my composure and new that I need some speed before turning and couldn’t put my weight down, so I got some speed and took wide turns. This is one extremely capable machine, I was taking big bumps as if it was only a crack on the road, I was navigating around once I had the right momentum and kept it up, I kept it between 1st and 2nd gear and not shifting around too much, took it for 20 minute ride, and rode up to a camel at a top of small hill which eyed me as I was riding to him. I got of the bike, took off my helmet and took out the camera from the rear compartment. That camel walked up to me as I was walking to him, I find them to be beautiful, funny, and friendly creatures. I always pictures camels to be intelligent and thinking about us as annoying creatures that they have to put up with based on their facial expressions. After taking a few pictures, I got back on the bike and took off, with a little sliding going on and my feet still down to glide on. I headed straight back to the camp, which didn’t take more then 2 minutes to get there since I took a straight line to them this time instead of driving around.

Just as I got there I parked the GS 1200 and sat at the benches where they were working on the fire pit. I sat at that fire pit for over an hour mesmerized by the fire before decided that it was time to head home, I would prefer to make it home before the sun sets, it would make the drive that much more fun.

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One Time Up...

This has turned into an interesting weekend, the whole week was windy and slightly sandy. I had hopes for the weekend that we would get some time in the water and luckily Friday turned out to be the day, it was a little windy in the city but by the time I got to the shalaih it was perfect. Low tide was at 10 am and high tide was at 6 pm, which is opposite of what I was used to. The guys were all waking up when I got there, we had some breakfast and got into the water towards noon, knee board and wakeboard ready to go.

And this time after the third try I managed to get up and control the ride for about 11 to 13 seconds which is a lot before landing face forward into the water. Some how I went with my left foot forward when I wanted my right foot forward, I had the bright idea of switching the board around but that ended with a disaster. I tried a few attempts after that but I was unsuccessful, but a lot of us really improved after a good amount of wake boarding, honestly wake boarding is a lot more fun the knee boarding or skiing for that matter. Salem got a really nice jump and Ali managed to jumped, Preetoo was bothering us with his Thundercats jet ski, he was like a fly that kept buzzing around us but had a failed attempted at jumping with the knee board but then again there might be next week.

Water Weekend...

This has been one hell of a weekend, pretty much filled with all forms of watersports. Whenever I wasn’t in the water I was asleep if I wasn’t eating. I fell asleep around 10 pm on Thursday and 8 pm on Friday. The water was nothing short of amazing this weekend, it was clear and smooth early in the day. The plan was for some kneebaording, sking, and wakeboarding, plus some other water vehicles which can be towed by a boat. I tried to wakeboard this weekend, and I had it all planned out that I was going to make it this weekend, that I was going to make it out of the water and wakeboard. But that wasn’t the case, over the past couple of water filled days I had exactly seven excruciating wakeboarding tries which resulted in me being physically damaged in more places then I knew possible.

Damaged Areas:

  • Left Knee
  • Both Forearm Muscles
  • Right shoulder Blade Muscle
  • Inner Thigh Muscle
  • Neck Muscles
  • Fingers

I need to shape up!

One Day of Dust...

After a week long of waiting for the weather to clear up and get into the water, Friday was still a little dusty and a lot of waves. Our rule was simple we would jump in the water even though it was dusty, but it had to be calm waters but it was anything but that. I woke up at 10:00 am, walked outside to see how bad it was and walked back in, one of our friends cooked a couple of eggs mixed in with some good items and it was a good breakfast. We had so many things planned, some water sports, a new wakeboard and kneeboard but we didn’t have a chance to really enjoy it.

We decided to stay in and just watch tv shows, at around 3:30 pm the weather got a lot better but at that point I didn’t feel like jumping into the water. It just didn’t feel like enough time in the water to get out and shower, I was just too lazy to move at that point but some of the guys decided to go sailing which turned out to be an adventure putting that sailboat together. What an interesting weekend, and I had to leave Friday evening because I had a lot of things to take care of, so I wake up the next morning and the weather is perfect and I really wanted to be in the water but there was just too much to do.

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