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Trip to Hatta

December 22, 2008

Friday afternoon we drove to Hatta which is SE of Dubai about a one hour drive. I have 12 of these “road stretching in front of us” pictures and I will be good an not post them all here.
Before leaving Dubai, we passed this train station construction that is part of the metro light rail. I think this may be the first/last stop on this route.
We also passed the sewage trucks waiting in line to get to the sewage treatment station. (mentioned in “Lack of Infrastructure” entry in October)

As you can see it is a long line. The drivers complain that the wait can be eight hours long, which leads some of them to illegally dump elsewhere. There are stiff penalties for that, but it will probably continue to be a problem until the number of treatment facilities catch up to the supply.
Also, before leaving Dubai, we gassed up. We have yet to see a gas station with more than one pump per island. They don’t seem to know that they could be pumping into two cars at once. You might be pleased to know that gas prices here are about the same that you are paying (in Oregon). Although, the price seems to be at a fixed rate and never fluctuates, so they don’t bother to put up signs advertising the price. No competition.

I have oodles of dune pictures, too, but will only present my best so as not to bore you. The dunes stretch into the distance as far as we could see and the further you get from Dubai the redder the sand becomes. It was also still damp in places due to our recent rain.
As we were driving out, we could see quite a few people camping in the desert with their SUVs and tents. On the way back, there were exponentially more people camping and driving ATVs on the dunes. This is what the locals do for fun on the weekends during the winter.
You might have to enlarge the picture below to see all the SUVs and people on the ridge of this dune.
The young men were speeding around on their ATVs with few helmets to be seen.

The border between the UAE and Oman is not straight. The countries are like two puzzle pieces that snap together, so to get to Hatta which is in the UAE you have to drive through a “knob” of Oman. They don’t bother with border crossings and passports, etc., because after a few miles, if that much, you are right back over the border again.
As we got closer to Oman and Hatta, we began to see hills which became more and more impressive.
Some of the hills, like those in the picture below, show a strange erosion pattern. There are indentations that seem to have eroded from below. Not sure what causes that, not being a geologist.
So, at this point I will take a break and give you a break. We haven’t actually gotten to Hatta, so consider this a teaser for the next post.

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