It is no secret that my idea of roughing it is to stay in the Holiday Inn rather than the Four Seasons. So the idea of camping is not something that always fills me with glee.
I always find the thought of camping under the stars, while a romantic idea, the reality is one of an uncomfortable nights sleep followed by an even more difficult morning after, with a distinct lack of ablutions or creature comforts.
However time with my friends, way out of the city on a beautiful beach makes up for it. That goes without saying. In an effort to make life a little easier here are my tips to have a more enjoyable experience:
1. Get one of your friends to drive.
After all the effort of loading up the car the last thing you need is to drive the for two hours through the desert and mountains. On the drive this time we go an extra bonus as we got caught up in the middle of the Arab Run – kind of like a middle eastern version of the Gumball Rally. The car exotica was outstanding with pimped out Escalades and Hummers with a good assortment of Jags, Ferraris, Porsches and Lambos. Here are a couple of snaps I got:
This chap in the Porsche GT simply gave us a raise of the eyebrows as we took the photo – very smooth:
2. Get a tent that pops up.
OK, so it will not withstand camping in high winds or rain, but the pop up tents you can get from the supermarket for only $25 are assembled in seconds and keep the Sun off and insects out at night. I can only laugh at my mates who argue with their girlfriends in a desperate struggle to erect their poles.
3. Get an inflatable mattress with a compressor that with a 12V adapter.
Again in 30 seconds a comfortable night is ensured. Again, I can only laugh as others struggle with hand pumps or expel all their puff in manual blow up efforts
4. Get the most comfortable camping seat possible
No point in having to struggle to relax whilst enjoying the company and some beverages
5. Bring oversized beers
Why have to get up every 20 minutes to fetch a new beer? – when a big 750ml one will last you an hour. Below Tim demonstrates the joys of a comfy chair and a frosty, giant sized fosters
6. Make sure you are untalented and do not have to provide entertainment
Duncan regularly plays his guitar while we sing- a-long, this time however as a special bonus as Renata and Ursula put on a dazzling display of what I can only describe as “fire twirling” although its proper name is Fire Poi. It was an amazing spectacle and one I don’t think I will ever tire of seeing.
Dibba beach offers one of the best camping spots you could wish for. A wide, fairly clean beach, with warm refreshing waters set on a backdrop of rugged mountains. Tim commented “That was an amazing camping experience” and was glad he made the effort despite having to leave at 7am to ensure making his flight back to the UK. Every time we go we wonder why we don’t go more. I think we will try and make another visit before the summer sets in.