Sand boarding & VISA run to Oman, Khasab

Being my first week of work we didn’t have anything planned for the weekend other than to catch up on some sleep.  But on the Wednesday I was told I’d need to do a VISA run so that I could cancel my tourist VISA and re-enter on an employment VISA, so that I could get all my other documents sorted as soon as possible.  This would be my second VISA run and let’s hope my last. Before I’d finished work on Thursday afternoon Brad had organised a Groupon deal for the night in Ras Al Khaimah so that we could drive up to Khasab in Oman and do some exploring, rather than just taking a pointless flight to Muscat and back.

A few of us have bought sand boards so that we can make the most of the dunes on weekend trips. Our friend’s group had organised to go into the desert early Friday morning, so we didn’t want to miss out.

So much for sleeping in on my first weekend, we were up early Friday morning, car packed for the weekend and set off to the Golden Desert area, an hour away.  We met up with the others and didn’t waste any time deflating our tyres and setting off into the desert.  The first dune we tackled only two of the vehicles made it up, while the other two got stuck at the base of the dune.  Thus it was going to be a while before we got onto any sand boards.  Eventually we made our way into the desert in convoy which was great fun and turned into a competition between the guys to see who could make it up the dunes the highest.

The sand boarding however turned into a bit of a let down, as the boards are designed to go down steep sand dunes and not for being towed behind vehicles.  The bum board turned out to be the most successful behind the vehicle.  After about an hour of messing around, meeting a random camel shepherd and countless wipe out’s we decided it was too hot and it was time to set off to Khasab to do the VISA run.  Being covered in sand for the rest of the day was not fun but we had no other option.

It took us an hour and a half to get to the border post other side of Ras Al Khaimah and it was a painless process getting through with friendly officials, something we are not accustomed to coming from Africa. The road from the border towards Khasab hugs the edge of the land, and is cut into the side of the mountain, reminding us a little of the road around the Cape Peninsula.  It was a beautiful drive, winding around corners through little villages along the way.  It didn’t take us long before we got into Khasab, where we turned around and found our way to the closest beach to wash off all the sand from the sand boarding.  The sea is crystal clear and much cooler in temperature than Dubai’s hot water.   Driving back towards the border post we couldn’t help but notice the vast activity of bird life over the sea, as well as what seemed to be fish feeding on the surface.  There will definitely be a fishing/camping trip planned for the cooler month’s ahead.

After getting my new employment VISA approved at the border post, we made our way to the Mangrove hotel in RAK.  The hotel wasn’t anything special but we were exhausted after a long days driving, so we didn’t do too much wandering around.

After a well deserved nights sleep and a buffet breakfast we headed back home to Dubai, only an hour and a half’s drive.

Let’s see what the new week ahead has in store for us…

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And a little bit of Khasab (Oman)

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The End… 🙂


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