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Morning Newbie Desert Drive - Nature Lover: Sand to Mountain - RAK - 16 Oct 2021

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Dear Desertnauts

In preparation of tomorrow's Nature Drive, you'll soon find the meeting point published in the drive's post. It has been chosen to start from the area closest to the coast, just south of E611. We'll deflate on the track leading off to the right of Al Shohadaa Rd toward the Ritz-Carlton Desert Resort (signs for this destination are visible since the E611). Once you reach the meeting point, please park on the right and left side of the road, to allow traffic to still move through. We'll tune into Carnity Channel #1 (446.006)

The meeting (and hopefully starting time) has been set at 6:30AM, (not 6:00) to account for the longer distance of the meeting area from Dubai, where most members are coming from. 

As far as the drive is concerned, the plan is to enter the area from the pylon track running south, and to start familiarizing with the terrain using a few sand tracks left by locals, amidst all kind of vegetation, growing either on the slopes of soft and tall red sand dunes (with some tricky crossing points) or on the firm ground amongst the dunes. All sorts of flora will be visible, from creeping vines to grasses, shrubs and tall trees. Camels may roam the area as well as wild donkeys. We'll proceed south, toward an area of sabkhas, separated from each other by beautiful longitudinal dunes. We'll attempt some ridge-riding of these dunes' soft humps. 

At this point, based on the convoy's response, the drive may be taking two different directions: either further South-East, in the direction of the Ajar Mountains' foothills (with exit at Al Ghail's Industrial Zone), or in a West/North-West direction to reach for more longitudinal dunes and the final sabkha next to the village of Biyatah, on the E55. This second option will be more challenging, due to the more difficult shape of the dunes, and a more complicated approach to their crossing (closer ridges, presence of small but deep bowls, and soft sand).

I do not expect to have enough time, as the drive as it is will already cover quite some distance, but if we manage to make good time, I am entertaining the possibility of extending the drive further, for FEWBIE AND ABOVE ONLY (who abound on this drive), into the area leading further west, toward the road joining Al Zubair to Al Bataeh. 

At the moment the convoy order looks like this:

@luis mantecon in Second Lead

@Max Beloenko at #3

@Manish Kashyap in place #4

@Thomas Varghese at the Center in place #5

@topgear at #6

@Chris Wing #7

@JeromeFJ at #8, and 

@Niki closing the FJ contingent, and sweeping the group.

Enjoy your Friday, and Carnity's Winter Welcome Drive this afternoon (if you are participating, do not go to bed too late 😜).

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@Niki I had to go for recovering @Shaaz Sha's car from deep inside the desert in Sweihan yesterday. After the Newbie drive with @Kailas I got news that @Shaaz Sha car had to be abandoned inside the desert in Sweihan as its upper arm link broke during his drive with @Lorenzo Candelpergher. There was no way the car could be recovered by tugging it out as the wheel had come out. 1st the drive from Ajman to sweihan to join for my drive with Kailas. Then picking up Shaaz who was taken care of by Lorenzo and driving all the way back to Ajman to source the parts and a mechanic. Once parts and mechanic was sorted out taking all this back to Sweihan to locate the car inside the desert. All experienced personnel in Carnity was engaged in the winter drive opening session. As the mechanic cannot come with us today we had no choice but enter sweihan desert by ourselves in 2 cars and start to locate where the car was left and that too after 8.30pm as we reached the entry point around that time. We roamed around 2 hours inside the desert in pitch blackness and finally located the car by 11pm. Half an hour later the car was fixed and ready for action. 2 cars became a 3 car convoy and had to figure a way out to the exit in pitch blackness and surrounded by big dunes. Another 3 hours roaming inside like lost orphans until finally we reached tarmac around 1.30 am. Reinflated tires and drove back home to Ajman dead tired. Reached home around 3am. 

I didn't want to miss @Ale Vallecchi's drive and so put the alarm for 4.30 am but looks like I was sleeping dead tired after all this exhaustion. Now I realize it was a good thing I didn't wake up and drove to RAK to join the drive. I would have been a liability to the convoy. 

By the way @Shaaz Sha would have done the same for me if it was my car in that situation. He has done that before in Iftar bowl when my car had to be left there after my differential broke down. We exited the desert only at 2am after recovering my car and he had missed his next day drive same like I missed mine today. So no regrets. 

My thanks to all the marshals @Carnity who has trained us well to achieve this kind of feat in such a short time. Never expected we could enter and exit inside Sweihan like this in pitch darkness. Special thanks to @Rahimdad, @Frederic, @Gaurav, @Wrangeld, @Chaitanya D, @Lorenzo Candelpergher@Jeepie, @Tbone, @Srikumar, @Vanessa8580, @Foxtrot Oscar, @Ale Vallecchi, @Luca Palanca Falsini@Islam Soliman and all other marshals I have driven with. All the knowledge given to us during the drives were put to use for this recovery. After this I felt like I'm a superman. 😀

Edited by Thomas Varghese
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@Ale Vallecchi many thanks for the beautiful drive this morning. The exact UAE desert life discovery drive ! It was the occasion to see that desert is not only sand dunes, but can be full of life. Trees, vegetation, domestic and wild animals, farms,...everything was there, and this short convoy was perfect for discovery. The last area of red dunes requires definitely to come back and explore in more details.

Thank you @luis mantecon for the 2nd lead, good to see you back on the sand, very well done @Max Beloenko, considering Newbie Plus level of some portions. @Chris Wing, @Niki, always a pleasure to drive as FJ team !


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firstly - @topgear and @Thomas Varghese we missed you both on this stunning drive! Look forward to our next together. 

HUGE thankyou @Ale Vallecchi for the route planning, the markers to explore, the care you took for tracks to get us all through.  That was even more stunning and challenging than I remember and cannot wait to join you again to explore the 'other side' 

@luis mantecon that was not straight forward as SL, with the nature of it being an exploration and you were brilliant! I must also thanks and appreciate you for the support when required - first out with the shovel when ever needed! 

@Chris Wing I appreciated your support a lot - the offer and execution to demo a new line for Max, the support shoveling and demonstrating your new mod - the Tesla Auto Pilot feature on the FJ woke us all up that morning :)

@JeromeFJ as always, an absolute pleasure being on a drive with you, massive thanks also for supporting for every refusal/stuck!  (the last stock FJ in Carnity) 

finally, huge kudos to @Max Beloenko - who brought 6 passengers (SIX).  If you were to bring passengers to any drive, this is the most scenic in Carnity so great choice (however maybe one of the bumpiest so no surprise seeing all your passengers giving themselves adjustments and stretches' once we finished :) !  How you managed a full car through the route was impressive and i must share during the final half of the drive you really found the balance between speed and momentum for a fully loaded LC200 - excellent driving!  The concentration required when alone is high, when bringing passengers higher and when having a full car, extreme.  Pls thank your passengers as they were full of good spirit, willing to help and always smiling/laughing throughout. 

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That was a perfect drive on a saturday morning:) @Ale Vallecchialways picks up the best, less travelled terrains and it was so enjoyable! 
@luis mantecon good to have you back and great 2nd lead!

@JeromeFJ like niki said, the last stock FJ in carnity but a driver with great skills who doesn’t need anything more to conquer these terrains!

@Max Beloenko great driving, managing this route with a packed LC is tough and you did extremely well. Next time keep some extra shovels in the car for the passengers too😂

@Niki thanks for all the support and being patient with my refusals😂

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Thank you very much @Ale Vallecchifor this fun and different drive, I enjoyed it a lot!! 

Amazing support from @Niki again, you are really good man !! 

And also very glad to see again@Chris Wingand @JeromeFJ, I love driving with you around. You drive awesome and support like the best.

@Max Beloenkogreat job with that monster fully loaded, well done!!

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