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Afternoon Intermediate Desert Drive - Star Trek: First Contact, Part 2 - Sharjah - 6 Jul 2022

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I'm happy that eventually i could make it to the drive even if it meant that a. I was late in arriving at the start point, b. hence had to forego the planned pitstop at home to change into more formal attire c. hence missed picking up my customary sandwich box too. 

With 4 cars, yesterday's was the shortest of convoys i've been part of and loved every bit of it - that and Ale's unique idea allowed each of us to drive in all three available positions - 2nd lead, CF and Sweep (Ale didn't offer the lead position - guess for good measure 🤪; Wonder if Ale could see the entire convoy (all of three cars behind him) in his rear view mirror but that didn't stop Ashok, when it was his turn to be sweep, to announce 'all is well at the back' every 10 mins without fail - thanks Ashok, your regular updates brought smiles and pleasant break from the almost-constant radio silence. 

Thank you Ale @Ale Vallecchi for the 'first contact'. Had never seen the super and iftar bowls so pristine and cross-track free - ever. barring handful of refusals, the drive was continuous, fluid and challenging especially with the super soft top layer. I'm happy that we could drive 52 odd KM in about 160 mins - also the fastest convoy i have been part of travelling between Shuwiab and Badayer

thank you Ashok and Mayank for the company @Ashok chaturvedi, @munkybizness

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@Ale Vallecchi it always a pleasure to drive under you... I certainly try not to miss any of our drives, these mid week are a blessings.  I loved the terrain (unmarked weekday no tracks) near all the drive including the super and other bowls. The wind was howling and blowing sand most of the time but it pushed away the rain clouds,  with us looking up the sky with sad eyes and hopes for the rain. 

@Ranjan Das gave us a great moment to smile when he reached the meeting point direct from office;  with his creased shirt , trouser and polished executive shoes he looked as if he reached a luncheon than drive.... wonder how he forgot his secretary in the office. 

@munkybizness always love your presence and smiling face;  where did you get the name?... have you typo error the O with U? 

The very small team but great speed and maneuverability coming from seasoned intermediate drivers... No stuck and very few refusals and re attempt to mention. The usual drive courtesy is to thank the Main lead, Second lead, CF and Sweep... since the last three cars where doing the same in rotation wondered how to thank them. 

Thanks Ale for the ending at Badayer shops were we could have my favorite ice cold fresh coconut juice plus the service of someone inflating the tires. 

The only disappointing regret I had that all the three drivers were flying off for work cum holidays ( cooler places), whereas I remain stuck dune bashing. 


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Every time I'm out on a drive with @Ale Vallecchi, the poet in me suddenly finds new wings. Perhaps, it's the way in which he wrings the orchestra to deliver this symphony across the sands. And on this particular afternoon, I spotted him on the highway, headlights ablaze and threading the lanes to the meeting point. We arrived, a few paces behind each other to find @Ashok chaturvedi and his yellow FJ already lighting up the meeting point. And soon behind followed @Ranjan Das ready for business. We purposed that if we ran into any trouble, we had a legal compadre dressed for the part to help tide us over. Sadly, that occasion never came about. What I got instead was the occasion to see how effortless he slugs his machine across the softest of sands.

The desert is a disloyal mistress. With passing winds, she forgets the dalliances of drivers past, and welcomes new ones across her canvas. Seeing virtually virgin and untouched sands in the southern part of Sharjah was a sight to behold, and this welcome epiphany followed us all the way until we got to Badayer where groups of desert tours had plundered her love.

Thank you, Ale, Ranjan and Ashok, for giving me such a memorable last jaunt before I head for the real mountains of the Himalayas. I carry with me the magic and camaraderie of last afternoon and the visions of stopping atop Iftar Bowl. I look forward to seeing all of you, refreshed in a month, to continue what we began.

@Ashok chaturvedi: [munkybizness] was my mIRC (Internet Relay Chat) handle from the late 90s. An introverted and shy kid, it allowed me to create a unique identity online that was opposite to the one in the real world, complete with incorrect spelling and definitely up to no good. The name has since become my pen name. 

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