Honeymoon in Dubai and Tanzania


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After a drive to Montreal and a transfer in New York City, we flew into Dubai. Our first evening was spent out in the desert on a "safari". We were taken on a drive through the dunes in a 4x4. Some people got motion sickness and threw up. At the "Bedouin camp" we rode a camel...
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smoked a shiska... dressed in traditional robes...
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got henna tattoos... and danced with a belly dancer. Dubai is both modern and not. The creek running through the city carries boats piled with goods that have to be carried off by hand, but is fronted by modern malls with stores identical to those in North America. It averaged 42C (108F) during the day. It was brutal, but at least we hadn't visted month earlier when it was over 50C (122F).
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The only people who walked around outside were the Bangladeshi guest workers and the crazy tourists. We cooled off wherever we could. Because of the heat, there wasn't much street life. Most of the city's activity took place in the air conditioned malls. In one of the bigger ones, there were indoor amusement rides...
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an indoor ski hill... complete with rental parkas and skiing lessons... and the requisite TGIFriday's with servers to sing "Happy Birthday" to you. This was the cheapest way to get around. For 50 cents, you could hop on one of these water buses and get off across the creek. Or, you could go with one of the guys trying to sell you a whole tour of the city for $40.
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Dubai's development is predicated on building themed malls and hotels. This one is a replica of an "old souk" or market. Inside housed an asian noodle house and other authentic middle eastern shops. The world's only seven-star hotel. Milica tried to talk her way in to see the underwater restaurant, but David wasn't wearing a dinner jacket and neither one of them wanted to pay $70 for a drink at the bar. After Dubai, we flew to Nairobi where we stayed with some of of Milica's CIDA colleagues. We took a bus down to Arusha, the start of our safari.
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On the ride through Kenya, it really felt like the start of our trip. We definitely weren't in a modern, western country any more. This was a kid at one of the rest stops along the way. We ate some sketchy, but very tasty, soup. Along the side of the road there were often kids herding donkeys, goats or cattle.
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We did see a few people who were a little more adventurous in their travels than we were. Everyone was dressed so colorfully. These are the traditional mud huts that the Maasai live in. Each of a man's wives has her own hut, and all the huts are situated around a large circle. At night, the cattle are herded into the pen surrounded by the huts. In Arusha, we were met by our driver and guide, Said. He took us to a local lunch place and dropped us off. Against his suggestion, we walked around a little.
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We watched guys play checkers and Milica nearly bought a pair of sandles made out of old tires. We wanted to eat at Khan's, an autobody repair shop by day and a BBQ chicken place by night. We stayed the night at a converted coffee plantation. Beautiful, but quite colonial. The next day was the start of our safari.