Desert Buggying Fun
I thought it’s about time I shared with you another desert buggying adventure because last Friday was a laugh a minute.
I arrived under the shade of the ghaf tree after having met & chatted with Abdullah a local camel herder that was marching around 40 camels across our playground.
I keep on good terms with these guys and they are such a friendly bunch. Arabic greetings go on for what seems about 5 minutes, which I’m pretty good at now because I‘m getting well practiced in the art.
Slaloming through the docile camels, I met up with Bolts (szlenart).
The two of us were soon ready we and buggied about 10 kms to the Buggydrome.
It was a fast run and I touched 61 kph, which is pretty good considering our rough floor.
I have learned to buggy with my mouth shut in these places because there are still some desert locusts that fly up & aim to get stuck between my teeth.
They look like big sandy coloured grasshoppers & they can fly quite well. (01)
I suggested we climb the SNTTA dune as he hadn’t done that before. This dune is about 200 metres above the desert floor. I announced to him dire warnings of ‘buggy or die’ saying that once committed, we have to go the whole circuit as there is little chance of rescue.
Importantly, emphasized that at the top he should follow me down keeping very tight into the wind as there is a thumping great bowl below full of dragon’s teeth. These are nasty rocks not to be crashing down on with one’s buggy.
As I got close to the top, I stopped to check on Bolts whereabouts. I saw him behind me & then I swung down cutting close into the wind.
Bolts went straight up over the top & down the steep rear-side of the dune. There is no way back up.
‘Scheisse’, I thought.
I moved lower to a flat area, where I could land my kite, so that I could check on him.
As I walked towards the edge, Bolts was climbing up the soft leeward side of dune with his buggy looking very lonely down below.
Well, this meant doing a long round trip through dunes, undulating ground & plenty of tufts of coarse desert grass all upwind.
Fortunately, the wind wasn’t coming straight at us, which eased the laborious task of getting out of this mess. I went down on the left hand side of the dragon’s teeth to join him.
Bolts announced later that he had soiled his underwear based on my ‘buggy or die’ instructions. He will read this; so sorry about that Bolts.
As we got closer to our cars, we saw that Angelo & Red Dragon had crossed a sabkha & a small ridge of dunes to greet us.
The usual ribbing & B.S’ing went on with Angelo suggesting that we make a long run down a large sabkha. Brig (My Mrs) & Fluffywoo agreed to provide support by driving & videoing us from the Landcruiser. We all zipped off across the sabkha next to the ghaf tree dodging some power lines & on to some dunes that flattened out into some rough terrain.
The wind was fairly good when Angelo had a line break but by the time he’d fitted the new lines, I noticed that the wind had eased a little.
We crossed the rough area, then on to a tarmac road & finally passing by an old dis-used water well and into a huge sabkha.
We moved reasonably well down the sabkha and towards a track that disappeared into some dunes. Brig drove the track but we couldn’t follow this track easily as there are a few trees along the side of it. Everyone followed me through some dunes about 100 metres or so to the right of the track.
There was a lot of crashing down of buggies off of the dunes & I was wondering how Angelo’s PL was holding up. I was soon to find out.
I had just about cleared this large mass of dunes & had moved close to the track when Brig came screaming up in the car shouting that Angelo’s buggy had broken.
We all went back & sure enough, the PL Comp had broken it’s fork.
I was very kind believe it or not because he, like many others know what I think of PL’s. He was expecting me to make a nasty, snide comment about Peter Thynn.
“Oh! Bad luck.” I exclaimed, “It’s forked.”
His buggy was quickly disassembled & we jammed it & Angelo with the girls into the Landcruiser
By this time, the wind had just about died & to try to get back using kite power just wasn’t going to happen.
So with various lengths of cord, the three of us were hooked up unceremoniously & hauled behind the Landcruiser.
L to R – Me, Red Dragon & Bolts. (03)
The Landcruiser started chucking up dust from the desert floor and Red Dragon was having a hard time breathing in it & so he just let go of his towing cord.
Bolts was in fits just having been introduced recently to Little Britain (He’s Hungarian) & commented on Fat Fighters and Red Dragon’s weight. He was yelling,
”Eat dust, eat dust – no calories in that.”
We sorted Red Dragon out with a longer tow rope. That’s the flat yellow one in the pic. This allowed him to be further back so that he could eat less dust. However, this proved to be interesting when we arrived at the tarmac road.
Part of the road is sloping gently downwards and us buggiers started going quicker than the Landcruiser.
Red Dragon’s front wheel got caught under his flat tow rope dragging his buggy on top of the rope. The wheel suddenly came off the rope & in contact with the road again. He was catapulted forwards but then his rope started to wind around his buggy’s back axle. Thinking this looked a bit dodgy & not wanting to be involved in what I thought was an imminent multi pile-up OBE, I dropped my tow rope & zoomed out of the way. Red Dragon had let go of the rope but his buggy was dragged sideways & backwards by the tow rope now firmly trapped around his back axle.
Brig eventually stopped, the car & Red Dragon finished up slamming rearwards into the side of the Landcruiser.
After this little excitement, we decided we would roll down the gentle incline of the tarmac road without the good use of the Landcruiser.
Eventually, we arrived back at the ghaf tree being towed & in one piece. We agreed that it had been a marvellous day & should do it again this coming Friday (04)