Its bloody hot hot hot.
Not the sort of place suitable for my way of travelling, but I am learning to adapt to my new surroundings, which is just another part of the journey and challenge.
I have found a few places now where I can stay, luckily meeting people and making friends has been as easy as ever, finding a little space and time to yourself is as usual sometimes a challenge.
My first few days were spent behind a small mosque that was on the site of a petrol station. I stopped to fill up water here, where soon I was answering a barrage of questions again as people slowly became magnetized to my strange bike, but getting great response, enthusiasm and help. I quickly found myself installed at the back of the mosque for the night, with running water and toilet at hand, feeling really tired this day not sleeping well on the boat and generally my daily routine of cycling, eating and sleeping being disturbed, which had suddenly come to a full stop. It does take time to adjust again to new patterns and so I was needing a quick easy solution for this nights accommodation.
After quickly applying for my Indian visa and left them now to process it that leaves me with 5 to 10 days they said, so I have been doing a bit of research and been asking lots of people at the Al Rasheed docks in Dubai if any of them were off to India.
I rode from one end to the other, rows and rows of old wooden boats, loading huge loads of cheap Chinese goods and food, that all looked like they were going my way. I was sure of it, but alas it seemed most of them were going to Iran or Samolia, finally just one said they were off to Gujarat which is perfectly in India, I asked him 4 or 5 times in different ways and with different hand signals and facial expressions, because many people assured me no one along here were going to India, but this one did seem to be consistently going to India, well my spirits were suddenly transformed, knowing now that it was possible to travel this way.
I also asked at Port Rasheed a few kilometers away, now a big shipbuilding area. I enquired at their office and explained I was travelling by bike and looking for a ship, or anything that floated which was going to India and able to get on board, they telephoned to another bigger port 25km away called port Jebel Ali. I got a definate yes, that they can help me out, sounds like it will be a big commercial ship though. I was hoping to do the Michael Palin thing and travel on a cute Dhow boat, well I don't have the power of TV behind me and maybe things have changed since then, so I will have to take what I can.
Dubai is not the sort of place that I have been used to these past few weeks of spacious plateau's, mountains, desserts and moments of peace, nature and tranquility, now it is survival in the concrete jungle, blacked out huge V8 gas guzzlers, heat, sweat, cars and people 24 hours a day, there seems to be very few places where to escape or to relax.
It really is bloody hot, I am currently sat outside of one of 4 or 5 purpose built places, by the Dhow wharfe, where the guys from the boats can come eat, wash and use toilet. I quickly took the opportunity to get myself noticed here so no problem to use the facilities and now a common appearance for them, so slowly but surely the novelty is wearing off, crowds of Iranians and Pakistanis disperse from around me as they get used to my coming and going, most of the time I have great fun with them all, as I have time these days to joke and talk to them, satisfying their curiosity, sometimes trying to lift the heavy cargo aboard with them, much to their amusement, in this heat though that game soon gets enough.
I am sat here now outside it is 9.00 pm I get out my laptop to write, no one around a good quiet moment feeling inspired to write and pass some time away, suddenly as the screen lights up, from out of no where I am surrounded by maybe thirty dark faces the whites of their eyes peering into my screen with me, heads wobbling from side to side more than usual and jabbering away, watching me now trying to type. It is like some radar that they have, attracted to anything you do, I feel like I am the main character in the true man show.....I get out my cooker to cook food and I suddenly have a crowd around me, so I just be cool, smile and try to ignore them. Trying not to move much so as not to use any muscles that will raise my body temperature any higher, just typing and I am constantly dripping, wet all over, eyes are getting bigger, closer and closer.......arrrrgh I think they going to consume me soon.........no good I stop typing and laugh to myself and wait for the crowd to get bored.
For anyone interested and travelling similar to me in this place, then you might be interested to know you have good facilities here at the top end of Al rasheed, Dhow boat warfage, there are 4 stations where you can wash, shower, eat and have toilets.
For sleeping I have found a good place just a bit further up towards the bridge in between the dual carriage ways there are two large areas of raised grass with a few trees, the one by the bridge is the best, a relatively quiet nights sleep, no one bothering you at all and even internet connection from an unlocked wifi at hotel Viktoria, just a little background road noise, sometimes the grass sprinkler system comes on, as I discovered when sat there preparing lunch, right in the middle of creating a complicated salad I get showered from all directions, which is very refreshing in this heat but watered down my salad dressing a bit too much. Number 6 tree from the far end has a faulty sprinkler system and here you have complete undisturbed peace, internet connection, a real piece of treasure in this place.
|After 3 weeks on the road, a dip in the ocean was the first priority.|
|Tallest bulding in the world....|
|...Until America builds one even bigger.|
|Big buildings, big cars, big bank accounts.....|
|Big fish tanks also...|
|There are a lot of rules here....think I broke them all in the first hour of landing and gave them twenty more to invent......|
|My first night, late, tired....back of a mosque and try to ignore the drone of traffic....sleep.|
|Asking around the docks at Port|
|plenty of boats...all more than happy for you to trave...to Iran, or to Samolia....!|
|The little oasis, grass, trees and always friends...|
|Sometimes I have my time.....I am a tree you know...|
|First wash for the bike, now we both look a bit more presentable.|
|Money money money....|
|If only I had wings, I would fly out of here as well.|
|The dance of flight, so free, peck at the crumbs that no one wants and take to the skies.|
OK back to the boat hunting for me.....