From here to Infiniti in the desert

Just spent two days in the desert on …. of all things… a 4wd rally. Cold (but sunny), I went along to the rally as a volunteer photographer, snapping blokes hauling their rally cars over sand dunes.

Frightfully un-pc in terms of saving dunes etc, too much fun camping in the desert – these Arabs know how to do it in style. We finished the last leg in the late afternoon of the first day at the Red Bull-sponsored winner’s arch, to find a massive, massive communal tent erected for dinner for 100 of us, rugs laid out on the floor, the tent walls a traditional brightly coloured fabric all supported by massive timber beams – it all just sprung up that day by the volunteers and local Bedouins who like a bit of down and dirty dune bashing. Who knew??? This is a shot of a Chinese-made Sperenza that two guys were trialling – the aim was to prove that it could actually hold up in a rally. There were no sand dunes injured in the production of this photograph though the driver fell out of his car on the next leg, looking for pain relief for his back. The medical team obliged – you could pick their 4WD, it was the one with the puffs of shisha smoke coming out the tailgate as the doctors’ drivers took time out to have a pipe, even flying down dunes sharing a smoke together…aaaaahhhh, Egypt. These long dunes are a wall between the sandy desert and a long, flat stretch of stony ground that once was a sea bed, and I snapped petrified wood while others picked sea shells from the earth. But SO glad to get home and remove sand blown into ears, nose, hair and to not have to find a convenient dune for privacy:)

About the author

Fear is found on a creaking glacier in the Caucasus mountains and joy is encapsulated in the perfect Shanghai dumpling. And while I love a $500-a-night hotel room (who doesn’t?), sometimes the best stories are found in a $20 guesthouse. With an eye always out for good markets and great street eats, I write the travel news and features for the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne’s The Age newspapers, and features for whoever else asks. I have a particular soft spot for the wilds of the Middle East, scarves and carpets. My articles and photographs have been published in a range of consumer magazines and newspapers in Australia and abroad.

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