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E-BIKE!?

We test out a green alternative

A Family Fishing Trip

TO MUSANDAM

+ + Setting

Nick takes the family out for a fantastic adventure

Sail...

Kit tries out the Hobie fishing kayak

+ +

new route

FEVER

Pete gets close to the edge...

Southern Africa =

Adventure Join Cheryl in Zimbabwe

Discover more and visit us online: www.outdooruae.com

Issue 15, March 2012

BEACH FESTIVAL 30TH MARCH - 1pm to midnight

Join us all at JOUMANA BEACH - JEBEL ALI GOLF RESORT & SPA just 15 minutes from Dubai FREE SHUTTLE BUSES to/from Mall of the Emirates - 1pm till midnight FREE-TO-DO ACTIVITIES

CLIMBING WALL . STAND UP PADDLING KAYAKING . SKIM BOARDING LONG BOARDING COMPETITIONS . GIVEAWAYS AND SO MUCH MORE BBQ (not included in ticket price) from 7pm-8pm PARTY from 8pm until midnight featuring a fantastic DJ!

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TICKETS: 100 AED Dhs 120 at the entrance if tickets are still available Children under 10 get in for Dhs 50 *Minors must be in the company of an adult guardian. All minors and under 21’s must leave before 8pm

LIVE DJs

Tickets are available at www.outdooruae.com and selected stores main sponsors

Dubai's Only True Resort

sponsors

supporters Element

BEACH St

JBR Walk opposite the Sheraton

2

For more information and details visit outdooruae.com or call us 04 4472030

Editorial Growing up

In Print:

Managing Editor Daniel Birkhofer Editors Kim Perks Marilena Cilta Graphics & Design James Russell Sales & Marketing (advertisement enquiries) Tara Atkinson Tel: 04-447 2030 Mobile: 055 9398915 tara@outdooruae.com Published by: Outdoor UAE FZE P.O. Box 215062 Dubai, U.A.E. Tel. 04-447 2030 contact@outdooruae.com www.outdooruae.com

here in the 90’s, I witnessed how this country had transformed into the cosmopolitan nation that it is now. The Dubai World Trade Center was the only tallest building piercing the skyline of Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Ghurair and the Burjuman Center were the best shopping malls by far then (as far as I can recall), and taking the bus or sharing a taxi with strangers were the cheapest ways to get around the city. I couldn’t believe how things have changed so rapidly in such a short time, everything’s moving so fast right now that you don’t even notice that you’re aging with every passing hour – the world had become so hungry with speed, people barely have the time to pause for awhile to admire the wonders around them .

And with that, let me invite you to experience a piece of that wondrous feeling of excitement and adventure as you leaf through the stories of some of our spirited contributors. See through their eyes, hear with their ears, and feel what they felt through every word in their stories. I am Angelo Cabrera, the most recent addition to the wonderful team of eccentric adventurers in the magazine, a Bachelor’s Degree holder in Journalism which I earned exactly a year ago this month, and will be taking charge of the news updates and several stories that you’ll be reading in the Outdoor UAE from this point on. Welcome to the rocky world of outdoor adventure everyone, keep safe, and keep living.

Angelo.

Maybe it’s time for us to slow down and take a time out. Be one with the world. Admire what it has to offer.

Distributor: Tawzea, Abu Dhabi Media Company P.O. Box 40401, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. Printed at: Galadari Printing & Publishing LLC P.O. Box 11243 Dubai, U.A.E.

between the lines Daniel Birkhofer

Founder and Editor in Chief daniel@outdooruae.com

James Russell

Graphics and Photography james@outdooruae.com

Tara Atkinson

© 2011 Outdoor UAE FZE Issue 15, March 2012

Kim Perks

Copywriter and Editor

Sales and Marketing tara@outdooruae.com

The information contained is for general use only. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this magazine has been obtained from reliable sources, however the publisher is not responsible for any errors. All information in this magazine is provided “as is”, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information. In no event will the publisher, its related affiliates or anyone else be responsible for any decision made or action taken in reliance on the information in this magazine.

Marilena Cilta

Angelo Cabrera

All contents are under copyrights and may not be reproduced in any kind without written permission. © 2012 Outdoor UAE FZE

Reg. at Creative City Fujairah P.O. Box 4422, Fujairah, U.A.E.

when you’re done reading, please recycle!

Management and Administration marry@outdooruae.com

Writer angelo@outdooruae.com

our experts and contributors Tori Leckie

Ian Ganderton

Kit Belen

Pete Aldwinckle

Mike Nott

John Basson

Toby Foord-Kelcey

Patrice Wergifosse

Writer, runner, blogger, adventurer and adidas athlete

Our fishing pro

The 4x4 expert

Climbing Expert

Kayaker, climber, mountainbiker and snowboarder. Enthusiastic jack of all trades, master of none.

Climber and all-round adventure seeker

Moto/ATV and all round adventure seeker

Traveller and adventurer

our list of contributors is always growing so please get in touch if you want to be one of them!

3

contents

Contents

39 Best Shots

05

Events Calendar

06

Events Reviews and Reports DMX Big Boys Toys 2012 RAK Half-Marathon So, you want to buy a boat?

Travel & Adventure

Slow Lane to nowhere Southern Africa = Adventure Crocodile Bay, Costa Rica

08

22

30

Our Experts

32

People

46

Wayne Fergus

4

48

Tips n Ticks

52

Stand-up Paddle Abu Dhabi

Navigator Aquapure Filter

Directory

Products Adventure Chick - Tori New Route Fever - Pete Riding Oman- John The Fishing Kit - Kit A Family Fishing Adventure! - Nick Pathways to Activity - Ian

Spots & Locations

34

55

32

26

Best Shots Each winning photographer will receive a free buff UAE headgear, and 5 free copies of the magazine. The 1st prize will receive two Gulf Photo Plus passes to Photo Friday. Well done!

Natascha Mehrabi (1st place winner!) Jump

Paul Walley

Hafeet Bouldering

Jeefrey Pabroquez The Desert

To see the rest of the fantastic entries simply visit www.outdooruae.com of find us on Facebook! (Outdoor UAE publisher page)

5

Events Calendar Stay up-to-date with the latest events. If you do decide to come down to any of the events listed below, look out for OutdoorUAE and you might be lucky enough to meet the team! If you would like your event listed here, get in touch with us on: contact@outdooruae.com. Entries listed in green are media partnered events.

Dubai International Boat Show March 13th-17th

events calendar

The world’s famous luxury marine brands and equipment are off to showcase their leading boats, yachts and other marine products in the five-day spectacle that will take place at the Dubai International Marine Club. High rollers and big spenders alike are expected to flock the big boats event, with exhibitors anticipating a huge turn out in the sales of their featured products at the show. Come see OutdoorUAE at stand no. DMEX-L12 and win some great prizes!

British Polo Day - The Prince’s Cup Middle East March 18th

Get a chance to see team Eton play against Harrow and Oxford goes head on with Cambridge in the Third British Polo Day - Princes’ Cup Middle East at the polo field of the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club. The Club will also be hosting a polo match between the Hackett British Army Polo Team and Habtoor Polo which will be the tournament’s main event. The tournament will run from 2 p.m. to 12 midnight.

An evening of entertainment for outdoor enthusiasts

15th March 2012 – 7pm to 10.30pm @ The Lakes Club, Lakes, Emirates Hills, Dubai Meet Mike Nott: Advanced off-road driving in the Emirates and Oman; Mike will share tales of his guidebook’s adventurous routes across the UAE and Oman and also meet Ian Ganderton, who will be talking about his Musandam Kayak Adventure; an epic journey in this world class sea kayaking destination and the first Khasab to Khasab circumnavigation of the peninsular. Ticket prices are 35 AED each, and includes a goodie bag and free prize draw. Available at Adventure HQ & other outlets (ask us). simon.cahill@arabiaoutdoors.com Tel. 055 9556209

Middle East Motor Tuning Show 2012 March 15th to 17th

Customized cars shining, loud and crisp audio systems booming, nasty 4x4s on the pavement drifting, and everything else that will make every real dude’s jaws drop to the floor, the Middle East Motor Tuning Show will be bringing the thunder as the audacious automobiles strut their wares in the three-day event. The car show will be taking place at the Expo Center in Sharjah, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Friday 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Entrance fee cost 20 AED, kids below eight years old can enter for free.

6

HOT-COG MTB’s Hot Six Endurance Challenge

Photo: PR Performance

March 23rd

The HOT COG Mountain Bikers Club will be holding its HOT SIX six-hour endurance challenge which starts at the Shawka Dam parking near Sharjah-Kalba Road. Categories are: Male Solo, Female Solo, and teams of two (male, female or mixed) Minimum entry requirements for the endurance include: six-litres of water, electrolyte drinks, energy bars, a mini-tool, pump and two spare inner tubes. Registration will be done in the parking lot from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., with the endurance challenge starting at 12 noon.

Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge

Source: Whittaker Photo: PRAndy Performance

Photo: PR Performance

March 30th to April 6th

events calendar

The best cross-country racers from around the world will be back to bring some desert action in the 22nd Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge which will take place across the outskirts of Abu Dhabi. UAE’s desert terrain and temperature conditions in April are expected to push the extreme in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, even if the top crosscountry rally drivers and riders are used to battling tough roads. For further information on the event, visit www.abudhabidesertchallenge.ae or check out their Facebook page.

Dubai World Cup 2012 March 31st

Watch some of the world’s best Thoroughbreds race to the finish line on the tracks of the world-renowned Meydan Race Course. The competition is a Mecca of sorts for international stables as contenders for the purses are flown in from all corners of the world, such as North and South America, South Africa, South East Asia, Australasia and Europe. Photo: Andy Watkins

BEACH FESTIVAL 30TH MARCH - 1pm to midnight

Join us all at JOUMANA BEACH - JEBEL ALI GOLF RESORT & SPA just 15 minutes from Dubai FREE SHUTTLE BUSES from Mall of the Emirates - 2pm till 1am SEE INSIDE COVER OF THIS MAGAZINE FOR MORE DETAILS!

7

TEAM

profiles

OutdoorUAE Official Media Partner www.dubaimotocross.com

This month, we take a look event reviews and reports

at some of the teams competing at DMX. Say hello to Sandstorm Racing, SebSports, Balooshi Racing Team and Team PowerTec UAE. Along with these team profiles, we have an up-to-date snapshot of the team standings.

SandStorm Racing SebSports Strongly supporting the racing scene, this is what the guys at Sebsports have to say about the newly revived quad class: “A year ago the quad racing at DMX was fading away, turnout of riders was low and it was overall losing its excitement. This year is different, there has been up to 15 riders battling for top positions on a tight track, making the quad races one of the most anticipated events on race days.� More riders are now training specifically for racing quad bikes, as it requires a different type of fitness than dirt bikes, specifically more upper body and arm strength. The riders undergo much harsher forces riding the quads around a heavily rutted motocross track that the regular dirt bike rider. The machines themselves also require a high level of modifications to remain competitive and last during a grueling race season. For this reason the riders put a lot of research, time and investment into building up their quads with aftermarket performance

8

accessories to give them the best possible chance to get to the finish line first. Quad racers this season have stepped up the level with a higher turnout every

Sandstorm supports many riders throughout the year, from full sponsorship including bikes to discounted kit and race support. Pictured are a few of the Sandstorm team and its current riders.

race and better, closer, racing as the season progresses. The competition is now more exciting than ever, with riders regularly battling for first place until the last corner.

Balooshi Racing Team

Balooshi Racing would like to thank its sponsors for the support: • • • •

FutureTech Engineering FZCO Al Marakeb Boat Manufactures Red Bull Energy Drink Kini Race wear

Team PowerTec UAE

85cc Dean Jullien Mathew Mann Darren Berry

96 81 82

125cc Joe Morritt Jake Porter Reagan Louwe Zac Paterson Jason Mann Michael Pegrume

57 73 77 26 0 2

MX2 Dale Jullien Shelby Ingrilli Josh Brodalka

90 39 33

MX1 Janne Tuohino

40

Masters Nic Bac Andrew Caldwell Steve Morritt

95 24 20

Quads Nic Black

70

Overall Total

964

85cc Jonathan Harel Jordan Hamilton Nic Kefford

67 87 88

125cc Mitchel Malpass Eric Landgren Ryan Wynn

100 54 89

MX2 Ross Runnals

99

MX1 Aron Mare Olly Eveleigh

0 13

Ethan Lane Overall Total

0 597

Quads Sebastian Husseini Alex Mac Farlane Oliver Burton Daniel Duke Mohammed Abu Issa Fayyadh Ahmed

68 112 5 52 17 79

125cc Ramon Brand

66

Richard Cornfield Overall Total

0 399

Balooshi Team Position 4

59

SebSports Position 3

65cc Emily Mann Samuel Porter

SandStorm Position 2

Team Powertec Position 1

The Powertec UAE motocross team was created at the beginning of the 2011 / 2012 motocross season. The goal was to provide a support structure for a group of amateur riders of all ages to encourage participation in this exciting sport. The team is managed as a social group of enthusiasts and their families come to the events and relax in a friendly atmosphere. This has proved to be a successful formula with 18 riders now in the Powertec team. The team has representation in most of the competitive classes from junior to senior and also the quad class. The team is leading the DMX team championship currently as the season moves in to the final 4 rounds ending in March.

MX1 Ali Ashoor Chris Moeckli Ali Al Kubaisi

18 94 16

MX2 Mohd Jaffar Abdulla Al Shatti Faisal Al Sharquawi Saeed Al Shequeti Moaz Al Ansari Hamid Dawish Bader Hassan Tcho Lieske

33 10 0 16 14 2 0 33

Basel Shuhaiber Mubarack Al Ali

0 0

Overall Total

236

9

event reviews and reports

Started by Mohammad Balooshi and Tycho Lieske, The Balooshi Racing Team was created as a way to give back to sport which given a lot to its founders. The idea was to involve new riders, providing service and training, in an aim to be part of race days in a professional way and to give riders the support they need. The team consists of 13 members riding in classes MX1 and MX2. As Mohammad Balooshi mentions, “Next year’s plan is to do it bigger and better; Balooshi racing competes all over GCC and we give our riders access to international level racing and a step up on the ladder”.

‘Dan the Gardener’

officially opens new Desert Garden Center Branch in Abu Dhabi

event reviews & reports

There was no place too far for

‘Dan the Gardener’ and his buddies from the Desert Group, testament to that was the Desert Garden Center which had officially opened its doors within the grounds of Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Park last March 1.

Trailing on the success of the Dubai Garden Center situated at the Sheikh Zayed Road, the Desert Group had opened up the latest store in Abu Dhabi due to the increasing orders from the people in the country’s capital. With the great prospect that had presented itself in the emirate, Desert Group’s general manager Danny Powell was more than happy to grow their offers in the area. The open location was indeed fit for the gardener’s store, with the variety of plants and other garden knick-knacks complementing the serene atmosphere of the park’s surroundings. Come to think of it, the garden plants bazaar, coupled with the picnic tables on display made it feel like it was the park’s greenhouse! The garden center also houses a café, Raw Coffee Company, which serves a selection of coffee drinks along with some pastries that you can munch on while enjoying scenic view of the ornamental vegetation outside. We had scuttled around the place ourselves to get a good glimpse of the bunch of stuff at the shop. From bonsai trees, pots, ornamental plants, gardening video kits, shovels, to barbecue grills, picnic tables, planters, artificial plants, fertilizers, seeds, vases, irrigation equipment, tool boxes, BBQ’s, ceramic kitchenware, coffee machines and more ornaments like those garden gnomes that would either get friends all mushy-gushy, or uneasy with the thought that they could come to life invite their fellow garden gnomes for a garden party at night (that’s just our imagination running wild). So for those who are living somewhere in the UAE’s capital city whose got a garden in their home’s front yard or back, try stop by the place and you just might find something worthwhile to add up to the beauty of your greenery.

10

Of Geocachers, GPS, and a get-together after the adventure:

A UAE Geocacher’s memoirs of a leap-day treasure-hunt

What do normal people during the ‘leap-day’?

Most people just let it pass as

just another day in the calendar. But the geocachers in the UAE decided that this was the perfect day to enhance their geocaching statistics and host a gathering, along with their GPS-guided treasure hunt which allowed them to log a cache on the ‘leap-day’. Since geocaching started around 11 years ago, February 29, 2012 was just the third opportunity for cachers to log a find on a ‘leapday’.

GeoCRAt claims the FTF

A special word of thanks goes out to Sara from the hotel’s marina for taking such good care of the local cachers and to the Golden Tulip Al-Jazira Hotel and Resort for extending such warm hospitality.

Regards, Charles Arnestad.

After some excellent planning by the cacher ‘geodanieldxb’, known to his friends as Dan, cachers gathered at the marina of the Golden Tulip Al-Jazira Hotel and Resort at 6:30PM for dinner and to update each other on their most recent geocaching adventures. Some intrepid cachers even took the opportunity to search for caches prior to the event just to be sure of being able to log a cache on ‘leap-day’. Between the club sandwiches and French fries, coffees and Cokes, cachers exchanged travel bugs and ‘geo-coins’ so that they could continue their journeys to different parts of the world. cacher GeoCRAt had even promised to take some travel items to the Titanic Memorial Cruise when it departs in April 2012. After an update on their recent caching adventures, with some persons flaunting their new hand-held GPS’s and their swag from caches found earlier in the day, the geocachers bid farewell with the hope of running into each other in remote parts of the UAE or Oman on yet another exciting geocaching adventure.

timeout | poolside Take a quiet timeout for yourself at Splash, our refreshing outdoor pool. Early birds and night owls equally welcome, with hours from 6am to 11pm. With a spectacular rooftop setting and sprawling landscaped deck area, this trendy outdoor pool is great for a leisurely swim-or even some poolside email catch-up, thanks to free wireless High Speed Internet Access. Exciting international flavors await at Mai Café, featuring Arabic delights, fresh healthy bites and all-time classics. Mai Café is your perfect spot for a leisurely lunch, relaxing dinner or a quick snack at anytime of the day.

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Aloft Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Khaleej Al Arabi Street, Abu Dhabi Need more info? Email Iana.Atanasova@alofthotels.com

Big Boys Toys Dream Toys for the Big (and Crazy-Rich) Boys

event reviews and reports

by Angelo Cabrera

Snazzy-looking rides, a

300 horsepower speed boat worth 300,000 Dirhams, an RV the size and a price tag only a king (or a sheikh) could afford, custom-made, razorsharp luxury swords glowing under the spotlight, and everything else that would make every rich outdoor junkies smile like a 7-year-old kid opening a present on his birthday; those were all there in what has been the Big Boys Toys exhibit at the Palm Jumeirah’s Atlantis Hotel that ran from February 9 to 11.

The exhibit was a bazaar for outdoor enthusiasts - show cars, show boats, custom bikes, fitness equipments, diving and fishing gears, remote-controlled gizmos, gadgets, custom-made off-road vehicles, and the list goes on. For the automotive fans, the yelloworange supercar Hulme CanAm Spyder was inviting. It was built as a tribute to former Formula One and two-time Can-Am champion racer Denny Hulme, with all its specs living up to Hulme’s reputation. The super-car boasts a 600-horsepower engine and could zoom from zero to 60 mph in less than 3.5 seconds. The car’s design was inspired by Formula One standards, giving the driver a surreal sensation of a grand prix race car. Then there was Nissan’s 2012 GT-R VVIP sports car. The sporty black auto is powered by a turbo-charged, 550 HP V6 engine, and has also got a marvelous interior that makes you feel like a movie star behind the wheel. Two off-road trucks caught our eyes with stern ‘look-at-me’ faces from their grills which were brought in by LRC. One was a custom-built trophy truck fitted with a Danzio 650 HP engine, monstrous 32-inch tires in the rear and 27-inch ones in front, and a built-in GPS, satellite-navigator and air-conditioning to wane down the extreme desert heat. The other off-road monster up for display was LRC’s four-seater sand car, standing loud and proud with its 24-inch front and rear suspensions for soft cushion as you tread up and down the billowing desert dunes. Dutch custom-bike builder Bozzies were happy enough send four of their gasguzzling creations for the show. Hardcore Motorcycles had also set up a space to sell a few bike rider apparels and accessories

12

Flashy custom bike from dutch bike-builder Bozzies

The Hulme CanAm Spyder - the toy every big boy has to have

that would bring the bad boy of out any biker. Extreme-sports junkie out there looking for something awesome and just downright nasty in the desert, BPG Werk’s DTV Shredder would have probably tickled your fancy. The all-terrain vehicle could zoom to speeds of up to 50 kilometers per hour in good terrain conditions. You could order one from BPG Werks’ website for around 2,599 Dollars. Sailing enthusiasts were all smiles as the exhibit had a couple to offer that would float their boat. Among those was Minicat’s ultra-light catamaran that you won’t actually believe at first sight that it could fit in your car, or be carried around in a bag case. You could actually assemble it yourself in about 45 minutes at the minimum, with carrying capacity of 280 kilograms, or about four persons. It also costs 25,500 Dirhams. Those who really dig big motor-powered boats, the Regal 24 FastDeck RX deck boat would do more than just float you off the coast. The featured deck boat had built-in features such as underwater and docking lights, a wake board tower, and a barbeque grill. The deck boat is powered by a 300 HP Merc 350 magnum engine, and doesn’t come cheap at 300,000 Dirhams. When we talk about boats, there are chances that you’d be thinking about fishes, fishing, and perhaps scuba diving. They had plenty of gears for those stuffs that were up for sale. Fishing rods, boat rods, big, shiny fishing reels, the equipments that you might need for a fishing trip, they got it. And for the scuba gear, Al Boom Diving was there to offer people the necessities for the dive. The Tanarg Bionic-X ultra-light aircraft was the darling of the show for those who dreamed of taking flight to the Arabian skies. The ultra-light aircraft’s unique feature was its wing design, which could

LRC’s white sand car monster

Helicopters for the RC hobbyists

be modified by the pilot even if they are thousands of feet above. One of these costs around 130, 000 Dirhams a unit. For the hobbyists, a variety of contraptions and gizmos were up for sale. A variety of RC helicopters, an RC all-terrain mini-German Tank, disc-shooting machine for archery enthusiasts, a classy pool table set made in Europe, custommade ornamental swords, and daggers forged razor-sharp, and a couple of other outdoor gadgetries galore. The huge playground-of-sorts was more than a splendid treat for everyone who came, and brought back the kid us with all the fancy toys that were on display. We just could not help but wish to get one of those for our birthday, or dream about it at night during our sleep.

SebSports

The One Stop Powersports Shop!

Uncovering some of the

best places to go for specialist advice and latest happenings- Outdoor UAE catches up with the guys at Sebsports.com see what is happening in the world of off-road powersports. What is Sebsports.com?

If you are a motorcycle, quad, UTV or JetSki enthusiast looking for a powersports shop with a difference, Sebsports.com is your kind of pit stop. Run by racers for racers, Sebsports.com is the first and only online powersports store of its kind in the region and is tailored to make the pursuit of powersports as smooth as possible.

How did Sebsports.com come about?

The brainchild of Dubai-based quad racer Sebastian Husseini, Sebsports.com has the rare distinction of being an enterprise that runs on passion. Just a year old but built on years of hands-on racing experience; Sebsports.com has carved a niche for itself as a destination that racers and riders can relate to. So when you talk about flying up that slip face, hitting 150 on that sabkha or finishing all six days of the Desert Challenge, the team at Sebsports.com knows exactly what you are talking about, because we have been there.

We have seen you guys down at the DMX, your team of riders seems to be growing- is there any additional support you give to other enthusiasts out there?

Besides its virtual presence, sebsports. com features a state-of-the-art workshop in Al Quoz equipped to modify, repair and maintain your vehicle. We cover everything from basic servicing and repair, to installing aftermarket parts and accessories. We also cover rally and race preparation backed up with track support, and whenever we have time, our real enjoyment comes from custom project builds for our customers. And in case you live in an apartment, don’t have indoor parking or feel you have a cluttered garage, the Sebsports.com warehouse is a place that your toy will fit right into. We offers end-to-end storage and service solutions for motorcycles, ATVs, Jet-Skis and UTVs with affordable payment schemes and various in-house services, making it your vehicle’s home away from home.

Where can people get in touch with you?

Drop into our shop! Sebsports.com is located in Al Quoz Industrial area 3, opposite the National Cement factory. You can find a clear location map on our website www.sebsports.com, while online check out our webshop which features the best powersports brands in the business, at surprisingly affordable prices and we have great rates for delivery. The crew’s hands-on knowledge of the equipment

coupled with their know-how of riding and racing in the region ensures that your shopping experience comes with a professional touch.

What new will be happening for Sebsports over the next month?

The 2012 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is around the corner and the sebsports.com team will be present in full force, fielding a team of nearly 10 bikes and quads. The riders will be ranging from weekend warriors aiming to just finish the 2500kms to top competitors battling to win. The region’s biggest and oldest off-road motorsport event, the Desert Challenge is the perfect platform for an up-close and personal feel of the Sebsports.com experience. An extensive presence, off the track and in the race, will give you a clear indication that this is one powersports platform that means business, so gear up and enjoy the ride!

13

Running against the wind:

event reviews and reports

the 2012 RAK Half Marathon

From kayaking to half marathons - what’s next for Tammy? by Tammy Elliot Williams

My

The sun sun had dawned

on a windy Friday morning in the outskirts of Ras Al Khaimah, but the strong headwind breeze was not enough to blow off the spirits of the runners who were geared up for the stretch that awaited them in the sixth RAK Half Marathon last February 17.

As the starting line opened up the long, long asphalt path to the finish line, the stream of humanity who had entered for run began its frivolous pace through the road that lay ahead. Bit by bit, they moved every bone and joint into rhythm upon setting into the track, with hopes to finish the run first in line as they braved through the breath of nature blowing the limits of human endurance to its stress point. And braving through, they did. The headwind that blew had added to the list of things each runner, be it a pro, midlevel, or whatever level of skill they had with running, had to pull it out of the bag to finish the run. 18-year-old Dennis Keoch won the men’s tiff by a margin of nine-seconds as he broke off from the chase with Azmeraw Bekele and stole the victory in 01:00:40. The young runner had blasted his way to the lead coming in to the final stretch of the run, wrestling his way through the headwind and zooming past bulk-built Feyisa Lilesa, the man tagged as the fastest runner of the year after clocking 59:22 last January in a marathon run in Houston, USA. Keoch has put on a spectacular performance at the run, with voices mumbling around that the teenager has got potential in carving his name in the Olympics someday, with time being at his side. Shortly after, Mary Keitany led the pack in the women’s contest crossing the finish line in 1:06:49 and claimed her second straight championship title in the RAK Half Marathon. She was followed by Georgina Rono who picked up the second spot by clocking 01:09:13 with Gladys Cherono

14

grabbing the third coming in just onesecond late from Rono. As the wind started to die down, the end of the race had come to life celebrating the triumphs of the victors, people walking around to talk with each other, or just simply having a good, comfortable sit somewhere around and rest a tired body after lengthy race. Well done to all the runners and see you next year!

Angelo.

heart is racing, the sweat is dripping off me, there's a dull ache in my body and Bernie is asking me to do one more set of press-ups without my face hitting the floor again. I am in a very strange way loving it! I love the way after each training session, feeling that I have really pushed myself and I am finally after years of drifting in and out of gyms, getting fit. The funny thing is if you’d asked me 3 years ago about having a personal trainer I would have laughed myself silly. I am no way a Jumeriah Jane or Marina Mary, I am a contrary wotsit by nature, I do not like people telling me what to do and I have always done training on my own. However, you know what its like, you get to Dubai, you work crazy hours, start ordering food in more and more, suddenly you don't have 'any' time to train and you become so out of shape that three legged asthmatic hamster could outrun you. So there I was, stood on the scales and I am 13 stone 7lbs!! Not just a little bit overweight but the biggest I have ever been. After recovering from the mortifying truth I immediately fell back on to the weight watchers diet and old training regime. About 3 months later I'd done quite well lost nearly a stone but work started getting crazier and the training got pushed out. Then a friend invited me to share a session with her personal trainer. I laughed at first but thought why not .. try anything once. That’s when I met Sharon from Element Fitness. I was really nervous - I had never done classes or boot camps I generally liked to be on my own because I was always embarrassed. Sharon was like a breath of fresh air. She wasn’t one of these jumped up sergeant-major types, she was approachable, affable and with a quirky sense of humor that immediately put me at ease. Don't get me wrong after the first session I thought I was going to die. My mate had suggested we do the RAK half marathon in the following February. I used to do cross country but not since I was a sixteen years old but Sharon seemed confident we could do it and being a runner herself designed a plan for us. Ironically my mate dropped out,

Element fitness

Tammy and her trainer getting ready for a day of kayaking

...add a little adventure to your training.

PERSONAL

TRAINING

‌ADD A LITTLE

EXCITEMENT

TO YOUR

TRAINING

but Sharon and I kept at it and in February 2009 I completed my first half-marathon. Later in May of that year Sharon and some of the guys decided to do a charity kayak trip from Khasab to Dibba - 150 kms to raise money for Shark Arabia and invited me to join them! 8 equally bonkers people jumped aboard a dhow and kayaked 8 hours a day for 4 days. It was an amazing and grueling experience and I loved it every moment of it. I am training to do my next 1/2 marathon in February. Sharon and the guys tailor the training to what you need. They take the time to find out what you really want, not just the vague or superficial goals. They find out what makes you tick and then put all the triggers in to not only get you started but stay motivated. Regular fitness checks maps out your progress and they ensure that you are doing the exercises and positions correctly so you don't get injured. They are good set of people that love the training themselves and that enthusiasm comes through in their approach. It's given me a great level of fitness and the confidence to try new sports and activities. I'm now looking for a new goal - the white collar boxing event sounds interesting! Luckily for me boxing training is one of Bernie's specialties.... I’m hooked and ready for my next challenge. Tammy and her trainer warming up for the RAK Marathon

Let Element fitness remove the 4 walls and take you outside the gym . Challenge your thinking about what it means to be "fit" and how great it feels to really enjoy achieving your goals, Let us remind you how amazing and exhilarating it is to be out there in the natural world, which we often take for granted. Have a passion and stay fit and healthy. Open up your world to amazing adventure through your own health & fitness. Personal Training

Fitness Adventure Trips

In action. Still smiling! Must be the first part of the day

The rest of the team at the end of the 4 day trip

boot camps

Free Lifestyle consultation and fitness body composition test. Packages developed for individual needs and goals. Sharon.james@element-fitness.net www.element-fitness.net Element-fitness15

050 2771317

More than just fun,

More than just a boat, Whether you’re gearing up

a for a weekend of fun with family or chasing big air with friends, the new Yamaha 19 foot boat series has used innovation to design a lighter quicker and more fuel efficient boat.

Introducing Yamaha’s First 19 Foot Boat Series All new for Yamaha are the 19-foot AR190 boats. These boats are now setting a new benchmark for the 19-foot category by offering a spacious design, better performance, all the attributes of jet power and a full feature package that has not been seen in this size or price range before. The new 190 Series also features Yamaha’s unique internal drive train and a compact 1.8L engine package that a more spacious cockpit layout. Not only this but Yamaha features a low speed handling technology that maximizes control and manoeuvrability. This new design directs the water flow at an optimum angle, creating more responsive handling as the boat is turned right and left at slow speeds. It’s a 19-foot boat that feels like it’s 21-feet. There’s not one inch of wasted space on this boat”, says Scott Watkins, Yamaha’s product manager. New Point • First 19 Foot category offering large bow seating, spacious cockpit area, • tons of storage and a large, low to the water swim platform. • Yamaha’s unique internal drivetrain and a compact 1.8L engine package • Low Speed Handling Technology which directs the water flow at an optimum angle, creating more responsive handling as the boat is turned right and left at slow speeds. • Aluminum Wakeboardtower that folds down, enabling them to be stored in a wider variety of areas. Specifications Dimensions (LxWxH): 5.80 x 2.4 x 2.6 (m) Fuel Capacity: 113.6 L Engine Type: 4-stroke, 4-cylinder, 1,812 cc Dry weight: 990 kg Storage capacity: 1,580 L

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GPP Faces & Places of Oman Tour Gulf Photo Plus Oman's

untouched coastline, soaring mountains, rich cultural heritage and rambling historical buildings gave enthusiastic photographers the opportunity to practice their skills during the 2011 Gulf Photo Plus photography tour. The trip included portrait, street, landscape and night photography, all to discover Oman and capture its Middle Eastern spirit. “Oman was a great choice for such a tour - wherever you pointed your camera, you were sure to capture some of its amazing natural beauty, or a welcoming Omani national," said Basel Badran, a participant of last year’s tour. And while Oman is only a stone throw away, blessed with intriguing subjects for portraits and stunning landscapes, many UAE residents have not explored the land. Eager amateur photographer Basel Badran said: “Having lived in the UAE for 23 years and not once having explored Oman, joining the tour was one of the quickest and best decisions I’ve ever made.” Travel photography can be intimidating when the location and its guidelines are unfamiliar, but is also one of the most exciting ways to capture the world and experience culture first hand. GPP’s annual photography excursion offers a fun opportunity to do just that, with the assurance of professional guidance. International photographers Bobbi Lane and David Nightingale joined in on the adventure with their expertise. With Bobbi’s portrait skills and David’s landscape talent, there was a world of knowledge at hand for the participants. “Such an opportunity to learn from two creative and fun photographers was worth every Dirham spent,” said Basel. And although GPP’s 2011 photography tour was his first tour, Basel said that it definitely won’t be his last. If you missed out last year, Gulf Photo Plus has once again launched the Faces & Places of Oman Tour from March 13th to 17th. Bobbi Lane and David Nightingale are onboard once more to offer one-onone photography tips and tricks, guiding participants through the art of travel photography. Delve into the oldest independent state in the Arab world and capture the beauty of unexplored territories. Bahla Fort, Misfa’t AlAbrein (farming village), Jebreen Castle, Nizwa (historical capital) and Wadi Al Ma’aiden promise stunning and unique outdoor photo opportunities. The tour includes the photo instruction, hotel accommodation, domestic transport and lunch meals; excluding travel cost to Oman. To find out more visit www.gulfphotoplus.com or call 04-380-8545

Fisherman’s Boat I think this is one of my favorite shots of Oman.  An anchored fishing boat during sunset.  The landscape was so serene & relaxing during this Sor city sunset.

Sultan Qaboos The Scent Man Grand Mosque Oneafghan of many cool techniques learnt on to thisthe tour, An scent seller adding we more scents burner.  capturing A difficult reflections. but lucky shot!

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque One of many cool techniques we learnt on this tour, capturing reflections.

Session with a Model We had so much fun with this tutorial.  Bobbi Lane was demonstrating to us the best techniques in portrait photography.  You can see the model to the left, BL center & the rest of us all around.  This was taken outside Sultan Qaboos’s Palace.

Wadi Shab The highlight of our trip to Oman!  After a long bus drive from Muscat, we reached this amazing valley opposite the sea.  As the tide was high, we all got into boats to reach its entrance.  I dangled myself from the boat (almost fell) to take this shot closer to the water level.

So, you want to

buy a boat?

Once you’ve made the decision

to become a boat-owner, life will change as you know it. The freedom and fun of heading out on the seas is a feeling like none other.

Buying a boat isn’t as far-fetched of a dream as it seems. People often get scared off at the onset, which is understandable – it’s buying a boat, but it is not as complicated as it seems. By understanding the steps, and the costs entailed – which aren’t as much as you originally fathomed – the rest is simply a matter of choosing what you like.

and above all, budget. Beyond the actual boat, what causes a lot of concern for people is the registration process. Helping you with what you need, the following documents will be required: • • • • • •

First question: first or secondhand? Buying a second-hand boat isn’t

necessarily cheaper, much like second hand cars it is often difficult to get finance for them. Looking at some of the other options; buying a well known brand or alternatively something that works just as well and within your budget- a customized boat. Finding a boat manufacturer that can personalize your boat how you want it can also be high performance, reasonably priced and affordable.

How will you be using your boat?

Are you a casual or sport fisher, watersport junkie, or simply looking to enjoy your time at sea? Once you know, there are many models and types of boats to choose from. Examples of some boats that fall into the custom build category are pictured on the page and all of which can be built up and customized to fit your requirements,

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Passport Copy Visa Copy No Objection Letter from sponsor or company Emirates ID Card Passport size photographs Original Boat Invoice (must be stamped and attested by the Chamber of Commerce, and is completed by your boat builder/ agent) Copy of Engine Invoice

Once you have the documents ready, simply go to the National Transport Authority (NTA). Depending on your residency, you will have to apply in the same issuing Emirate. Offices for each Emirate can be found at http://www.nta. gov.ae/index.php?option=com_content& view=article&id=352&Itemid=153# The registration process will take you through issuing a ‘Boat License Card’, which includes inspections and approval. For expat boat owners, you will be expected to pay a deposit that will be returned once the boat registration is cancelled or the boat is sold. For the registration process, there are a few requirements for your safety that

must be upheld. You will need to keep the following equipment on the boat as they are mandatory for boat registration: • • • • • • • •

Lifejackets (equal to passenger capacity of the boat) Flares First Aid Kit Fire Extinguisher Flashlight Life Buoy Compass Anchor + Rope

In case of an emergency, these items are important for your safety and others coming along with you for the ride. Al Marakeb has ‘Emergency Kits’ ready and available for you to purchase, along with other boating accessories. You don’t need to be rich, famous or privileged to sail the high seas. Buying a boat is a beautiful dream, one that can be made a reality with a few simple steps. For more information, on buying and registering boats contact an associate at Al Marakeb to find out more:

Office: +9716 538 5196 E - Mail: a.hayek@almarakeb.net

Breaking Away

From The Norm

Love to kayak but have a small car and can’t get your head around how to transport it?

product review

Making paddling more accessible, the Modular Point 65° North Kayaks are said to be, ‘As easy as one, two, three’, (with the catalogue cover of the range depicting a couple with one of the kayaks sticking out in two parts out of a convertible VW beetle). It was too hard to resist in taking up our own challenge of getting a kayak down to the beach in lets say- a Toyota Yaris Hatchback, and checking if the kayaks were really as easy as they were made out to be.

The kayak we were testing out was the amply named ‘Tequila’- fun and versatile, this sit-on-top is great for kids and adults alike.

So does it fit?

Surprisingly it does, with the front and back seats down it fits perfectly, just make sure you can see out your blind spot and review mirror by adjusting the pieces to the side. When you have it out of the car and on the beach- you can easily clip it together as shown with the Snap-Tap system, and coming in two parts it’s much lighter to get to and from the car- and much easier to store. Its also fun on a bit of surf (but be careful of winds we have been having here- and always wear a lifejacket), it also accommodates fishing; with an additional midsection it turns into a double kayak.

Photos: Alexia Mabragañis

Where can I get it?

The kayak is a stand-alone piece of kit; you have to buy the paddle, lifejacket and backrest separately- and can all be purchased at Go Sport the Dubai Mall. The reasons for this are mainly because the modular design ethics allow you to add onto your single kayak turn it into a double and so forth with options to accessorize; and in doing so allows you to kit your kayaks out the way you want to.

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Are there any downsides?

The only downside is if you live in an apartment- you need to find an efficient way of getting it to your car. We recommend getting a kayak trolley, which will be available at Go Sport The Dubai Mall shortly. Contact Go Sport the Dubai Mall for further details tel: 04 3253595

The Best Feeling on Water

SIT ON TOP SEA KAYAKS Designed in New Zealand and proudly made in Thailand with 30 years of production experience. Suitable for novices through to experienced paddlers; highly versatile and innovative designs. Ideal for learning to kayak, surfing, fitness, short tours, fishing or just fun on the water.

Available at: Adventure HQ in Times Square Center, Go Sport stores, Al Yousuf Motors (Yamaha) showrooms, Noukhada Adventure Company in Abu Dhabi Distributor

info@globalclimbing.com

21

Slow Lane to

nowhere

by Patrice Wergifosse

travel & adventure

4 days ago

, it was -23°C at night and 2 days ago, it was+30°C in the plain along the Caspian Sea before hitting the 0°C again in a mountain pass 2400m high and settling down for the night at 12°C. I don’t know what to wear anymore! But the good news is that soon winter is completely behind me. I arrived in Tehran yesterday. I would normally avoid these kinds of big cities, but I wanted to meet some friends, I also wanted to extend my visa, as I had to arrange a trip to the Lut desert for Nowruz; the Persian New Year with some guys I met on a forum. I will tell you about Iran next time. Let’s get back to the European part of the trip. I have been in snow in Belgium, Luxemburg, France, Germany, Italy, San Marino, Greece, and in Turkey. I could only remove my ski trousers for half a day on the ferry that took me from Italy to Greece. I had to change in the toilets of the restaurant where I stopped for lunch as I was again in 1m of snow. On the 8,500km I drove since I left Belgium, I probably drove more than 2000km on snow. I have a difference of 300km between the GPS and the trip meter, it tells me how much my wheels have been spinning whilst climbing mountain passes on snow. When choosing my tires in Dubai, snow and mud had not really been part of the equation. On snow, they behave decently. I had to put the chains on only once, early in the trip in Alsace, France. After that, I was just careful and breaking on the engine down the mountains. Was it worth to buy 1000AED worth of snow-chains? Well it is definitely safer to have them as backup, but will be probably difficult to sell back in Dubai  Mud is another story as I found out when trying the car in a field near my View if Mt. Ararat

22

parent’s place. The farmer of the village had to come with his tractor to get me out. Since then I have been a bit nervous every time I see mud. Like sand, there are different types of mud, but it is more difficult to read than sand. At least now the winch is paid for! I had to use it 3 times in mud and twice in snow, plus once for another car stuck in snow. I was lucky every time to have a pole or tree nearby to tie the cable to. My worst experience was in Turkey: after crossing the border from Greece at night, I drove one hour before going down a small track in the woods to be hidden for the night. The ground was hard and nice. In the morning however, it started raining cats and dogs, snow was melting and the ground unfreezing, transforming the path in a torrent of mud. The tires couldn’t grip anything; it was a nightmare. It took me 3h1/2 of winching to get me up 200m until I reached the tar road. Every 5m was a victory. A special mention to the heavyduty Optima battery! I manage to kill it only once, (I was distracted and didn’t get the alternator running once of the dozens time I have been winching.) And of course, it stopped raining only after I finished. Camping has not really been fun until now. It is straight from the wheel to bed. You don’t really want to unfold the chair and table when it is -10°C. The coldest I had been in whilst sleeping outside was18.3°C, its not really cold in the tent, but not really hot neither. European winters however, were just an appetizer for what was coming in Eastern Turkey. There were a few nights where temperatures nearly hit the -30°C mark. It was in Kurdistan that I had been invited to stay in houses. Now, even as spring is coming everywhere in Europe and Iran, they still have -20°C at night in this region. That is real winter! I have enjoyed food while crossing Europe; I have enjoyed driving on snow. I have enjoyed the Meteors in Greece; despite the fact that I didn’t see anything because of a snowstorm. I had a lot of cold rain in Turkey, that is why I bypassed the Egean coast I wanted to visit, to be straight back in winter in Central and Eastern Turkey. Cappadocia was a highlight of the trip. Landscapes are amazing and that was my first full day of sun! I spent few days in Kurdistan (Turks call it South Eastern Anatolia). I knew I arrived there in the morning as a few people came to invite me for breakfast. I really loved this mountainous region and I could definitely spend holidays there . You can

Beautiful Cappadocia as a present for my first real sunny say after 23 days of travel

find mountains, lakes and a lot of tracks going everywhere, it is winter, so most of these tracks are under 1m snow, but it was still fun and for the first time I had 5 days of sun in a row! The highlights have been the Van Lake and Mount Ararat (where they allegedly found the rest of Noah’s Arch). I couldn’t see any effects of the earthquake at Van Lake, except for some Red Crescent tents (now used for cattle) and few container townships, it is like it never happened. No ruins, no cracks in buildings, but maybe I didn’t look in the right places. The lake is surrounded by lots of 3000+ and 4000+ peaks, so you can imagine the views. From there, I took the road to Mount Ararat. The road goes up to a plain 2600m high where people actually live, even in winter. At 5pm, with the sun still up, it was already -20°C. And then, on the way down, I had my first view of Mount Ararat at sunset. Just magnificent… I took 2 days to wander around the mountains, plus an extra one as the border to Iran (30km away) was closed for I don’t know what reason. Maybe that was just the owner of the hotel that wanted to keep me one more day. Crossing the gate to Iran in Bazargan border post was like a formula-one start; three lanes turning into one, and everybody fighting for every centimeter. After 4 months in Europe, I have been getting soft on the driving side and I was no match for minibus drivers. After 7 days in Iran, my Dubai-driving style was coming back, essential if I wanted to survive the streets of Tehran. I am now entering the last month of the trip. That is why I want to extend my 1-month visa in Iran, to make it last as long as possible. After that, I am back home in Dubai, back to work and shopping at Spinneys or Carrefour. Not a bad life but I prefer to go the extra mile in this trip while I can! I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, you can see more pictures and read more stories on my blog: http:// slowlanetonowhere.blogspot.org

Patrice (&Marcel of course) Marcel having some good time, sunbathing in the snow

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23 Also available at select Sun and Sand Sports stores across the GCC

Southern Africa = Adventure

travel & adventure

by Cheryl Robertson

Every time I visit southern

Africa something totally unexpected happens. Two years ago I found myself in the Zimbabwean bush counting the breaths coming out of the trunk of a prostrate bull elephant, out-for-the-count on the ground as wildlife vets fixed a satellite tracking collar onto his neck.

Following that incident was a speedboat dash from Musango Safari Camp where we were staying across Lake Kariba to relieve a baby elephant that was being choked to death by a wire snare. The same vets had to dart the mother first and then the baby to remove the poacher’s trap. The opportunity to take part in all of this came about simply because two vets from a non-profit wildlife trust shared our light aircraft to the Bumi airstrip, so they welcomed us to tag along. All in a days work to them, but to a visitor, something so special. Zimbabwe is like that. Flexibility, spontaneity and can-do attitudes are visitor musts. Nowhere is there currently more adrenaline pumping than at Victoria Falls, one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world. The Zambezi River, dividing Zimbabwe and Zambia, flows over a 1,700m wide lip creating the world’s largest sheet of falling water. The site of the falls has been refreshingly unexploited by commercialism, let’s hope it stays that way. Both countries offer similar activities in and around the famous falls, and share some too, such as shooting rapids on the roaring Zambezi River and bungee jumping down 128m off the Victoria Falls Bridge. It was here that news about a young Australian’s bungee jump became plastered all over the internet as she plunged head-first into the river after the rope tied around her feet snapped. (The woman survived with cuts and a broken collar bone.)

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The company, which introduced and has operated this activity for 17 years without a single incident, has since reviewed every part of their operation, tested everything and replaced all bungee cords and has established more checks and procedures than ever before. The incident was one among about 150,000 jumps taken since the sport came to this region. It is therefore as safe as a bungee can be, and to reinforce this, the Zambian Minister of Tourism, Given Lubinda (50), leapt off the bridge later in January, to restore visitor faith in the bungee experience here. A Zimbabwean marketing executive put it into perspective saying: “….this is the first ever incident …. one must remember that people do these types of activities BECAUSE of the element of danger!” But if bungee jumping doesn’t float your boat, wild water rafting might. From just beyond the base of the Victoria Falls large rubber rafts take off and it’s the bumpiest, scariest, wildest, most exciting stretch of turbulent surf I’ve ever been in, and idiotically fallen into. Taking holiday snaps while on a bucking bronco is not a bright idea. Like a washing machine, the thrashing, bubbling water does eventually spit you out onto a calmer shore. The word “terrifying” doesn’t really cover all those feelings of anticipation, hope, desperation, fear, exhilaration, excitement and sheer amazing fun.

“Get complacent and she rises up and slaps you in the face,” my highly trained, well disciplined oarsman sighed about his lifeblood, the Zambezi River. “She’s simply unpredictable.” Shane White of Wild Horizons tour operators says: “The best time of the year for adrenaline junkies to visit here would be from October through to end of November. River levels permitting, this is normally when the Zambezi is at its lowest and offers one of the best one-day whitewater rafting trips in the world.”  In fact, anytime between July and mid-February is exciting for rafting, for the Zambezi is at low level. Watch out for the short closed season around April/ May, depending on the extent of the rainfall. The rafting here has been classified by the British Canoe Union “extremely difficult, long and violent rapids, steep gradients, big drops and pressure areas”, according to tour operators the Zambezi Safari and Travel Company. Equally successful at raising pulse rates are high wire activities including the Flying Fox - you take a running jump over the Zambezi gorge and soar horizontally over it; and the Zip Line and Gorge Swing. I spotted this on their website: “If anyone is feeling worried about the strength of the cables over the high wire then read here. The cables supporting the products at the High Wire are rated to hold a weight of 22,700kg each. That is the weight of five bull elephants (4,000kg each)….” Noted.

Let’s not beat about the bush, Zimbabwe is still in a state of confusion politically but despite all it is a safe destination of unspoilt, outstanding natural beauty. Zambia too has its own set of problems, but is equally magnificent from a nature point of view. The two countries welcomed Emirates Airline’s new service to Harare via Lusaka five times a week as from 2nd February 2012. From Lusaka, visitors can fly to Livingstone or hire a vehicle and drive to Victoria Falls, or from Harare there’s the choice of a private air charter or vehicle hire or a luxury commercial bus. A few other airlines fly direct from Dubai to Johannesburg and from there are a number of connections to the falls. Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airways also fly from Dubai to both countries. I have been on all three airlines and all have their pros and cons…

Photo: Chris Worden (from the Zambezi Safari & Travel Company)

travel & adventure

Less exhausting but still keeping you on your toes is an elephant-back safari or a walk with lions. Personally, being a native Zimbabwean I feel peculiarly vulnerable when on the back of an African elephant and walking side by side with something that would prefer to eat me for dinner, but it’s a popular activity with tourists. Canoe safaris above the falls on the upper Zambezi River produce a different kind of fear. “What about the hippos and crocodiles?” I asked my guide querulously. Well of course they are in the water, that’s where they live, but he said nothing. He watched the water though, all the time. Respect animal’s territory, stay out of their pathway and they will do the same to you, seems to be a good motto. The most jaw-dropping activity I’ve ever witnessed has to be swimming in the flowing waters at the top of the Victoria Falls. Called the Victoria Falls Devil’s Swimming Pool, this activity is only available on the Zambian side via Tongabezi Safari Lodge. At certain times of the year it’s possible to swim in a pool on the very lip of the mighty falls. Insane. For me, the best experience of all is to come face to face with wildlife in the raw. Just a bush or two separating us; and a mega experienced guide nearby. Now this is real, this is what Africa is all about and this is what gets all the juices flowing. Some 28 years ago I went on a walking safari in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park around Chibembe Safari Lodge, and then it was un-trodden, pristine, unspoiled Africa. Thankfully, in this part of the world walking safaris are just as wild and earthy as they ever were. In Zimbabwe, Steve Edwards from Musango Safari Camp offers humoursprinkled and highly informative walking safaris. He’s pretty much a legend here, his knowledge about the Matusadona National Park area is a huge advantage. Anti-poaching activities are high on the Musango agenda, where he operates a team in conjunction with the Bumi Hills Anti-Poaching Unit and the National Parks & Wild Life Management Authority. Leon Varley of Backpackers Africa operates backpacking safaris in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park and the Chizarira National Park. The company provides all the gear, a tracker and a licensed guide, and clients carry their own packs, although a chef and other crew do the hard camping chores. These backpacking safaris are all about respecting the environment and learning about what guests encounter, so lectures are given on animal behaviour and characteristics, bird life, plant ecology, geology and astronomy. I do still like the approach of The Bushcamp Company’s Mfuwe Lodge in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park, where guests simply have to walk to the reception to get a taste of wild real Africa.

Photo: Chris Worden (from the Zambezi Safari & Travel Company)

Examples of costs:

Walking Safaris Backpackers Africa = for a 5 day fully backed-up (i.e. with support vehicle, tracker, & cook) tented walking safari it is about US$1150 per person fully inclusive; extras are park fees of US$100 per perso for five days. For a five day backp n acking safari (carrying your own backp ack, no vehicle) the cost is about $950 per person. Price includ es return road transfers from Victor ia Falls and park fees. www. walkafrica.com Mfuwe Lodge and The Bushcamp Company For an 8-night Emerald (or Green ) Season Luangwa Valley special safari of walking and game drives from three bush camps its costs around US$3485 per person sharin g, and US$4050 single occupancy. Everything is included in the price as well as return scheduled charte r flights between Mfuwe and Lusaka. www.bushcampcompany.com One day white water rafting low water around US$130.00 high water around US$120.00 High wire activities (with Wild Horizo ns) from US$38 to US$126 - www.wildh orizons.co.zw   Flights Dubai to Harare on Emirates costs anything from Dhs3,170 to Dhs 5,770 depending on time of year the airline ups the price come the school holidays. Dubai to Lusaka on Emirates costs from Dhs3,000 to Dhs 5,100 Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airline s is about Dhs3,600 Useful Websites The Zambezi Safari and Travel Comp any (ATOL protected tour operator – can put together a package for all of these below). www.zamb ezi.com Musango Safari Camp www. musan gosaf aricamp.com Wild Horizons www.wildhorizons.co.zw Shearwater River Rafting www.shearwatervictoriafalls.com The Zambezi Safari and Travel Comp any www.zambezi.com Tongabezi Safari Lodge www.tongabezi.com Backpackers Africa www.walkafrica.com The Bushcamp Company www.bushcampcompany.com Please contact Cheryl (a Dubai based freelance journalist and Zimbabwe travel specialist): tuppy.robertson@gmail.com +971-50-4251656

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Crocodile Bay:

living emotions inshore & offshore at Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica by Antonio Varcasia

travel & adventure

Thirty miles miles

Antonio

is a native and current resident of Italy’s Sardinia Island. Besides being a saltwater angler, he is also a video producer and a well-known sport-fishing journalist, having written for several magazines in Europe.

away of Cabo Matapalo, German; a sixty year man who has spent at least three quarters of his life at the sea and half on the fly bridge, leads his Strike Pro of 35‘ feet pointing straight ahead to a huge stain on the horizon. Just a few Europeans have had the fortune of seeing an astonishing show like this, and for whom have had the opportunity to see it just before waiting in silence whilst the adrenaline grows mile after mile. German is going to pass between a huge flock of dolphins, hundreds of animals that swim on the surface, followed by boobies and frigate birds. Between the dolphins we can see the characteristic profile of the Yellowfin tunas jumping fast. All of these animals - and many other hidden by the waves - are hunted and Capt. German has decided joining to the party. He prepares seven rods, with three teasers, three Kona, and one Ballyhoo. Whilst watching the movements of the herd he continues trolling at seven knots.

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We are at the top of the food chain: tuna and dolphins chase a huge shoal of sardines, and when they can bring them to the surface, even the frigates and boobies (Sula leucogaster) participate in the banquet. Special guests, not reported on the surface, could be extra-sized Dorado, Sailfish and Blue Marlin. German, obviously, wants to “get in touch” with these guests, and this is the reason why he’s not interested to drop a minnow to catch some Yellowfin, at this moment are an easy prey, and could give an amazing day and some fun to his European guests. But he’s looking at something else, and for him the Yellowfins are just the bait. A few meters down in the same boat stays Anthony Lee Santos, another captain of the Crocodile Bay Lodge, whilst nobody is watching him he crosses himself and opens his arms to the ocean. He begins to prey to his God, and asks to the sea to be generous today, he wants to come back to home again safely. He’s a seaman, almost 250 pounds and 1.72 cm in height, a kind of cube of muscle, fast, responsive; that of whilst talking to you but at the same time has his glance on the bait in the water. A marlin tattooed on his right shoulder, certainly his first love, and a series of scars are the indelible memories of moments of passion with his blue dressed friends. German and Anthony prefer to live in silence; those waiting minutes loaded with adrenaline. Oppositely to what many think, the waiting is often the most crucial time of fishing, (much more than a strike, a fight or a release). The wait is a mix of extreme concentration that comes against the remembrance and the imagination about what could happen, also with a little fear of mistakes or illusions. The wait, unknowledgeable about what to expect, it is like a cigar that is consumed with greed, is the desire before the passion, is an unexpected gift from the sea in a wonderful day of fishing on the high seas in the Pacific.

How and where

Outside Crocodile Bay Lodge (from now on CBL) the deep-sea fishing takes place 90% in this way: the captains go beyond the continental shelf and remain on bathymetric between 1000 and 1500 meters, following the cut of the tides, the movements of seabirds and forage fish on the surface, as well as following the shade that appears on the eco between the 200 meters bathymetric and the surface. Other

spots are the Sea Mountains, there are at least three in a radius of fifteen miles, but the captains do not like to fish it because these are areas frequented by long liners. The commercial fishing in Costa Rica is very orderly, as well as sport fishing; the government invest a lot of resources in conservation and protection of Nature. Marlin and Sailfish cannot be fished, these are prohibited and the current legislation allows a 5% of Bonito that can be kept, defined purely by sporting interest. Another aspect related to the conservation is its park: 30 miles away, north west of the lodge, there’s the Parque Nacional Corcovado, one of the most wild and known parks throughout the world. Both kinds of fishing are prohibited along the park’s coast, it’s

When

The fishing here follows the rhythms of the seasons, in Central America there are essentially two, the wet season, which runs from May to November, and the dry season from December to April. The Lodge closes its doors in October for the maintenance of structures and boats, and also because it is the rainiest month. After the rainy period, the inshore and offshore waters begin to clear and appear blue and well oxygenated, this allows large pelagic approaches to the coast. The best period? November and December for blue marlin, and sometimes for black and striped too. The Sailfish’s season, one of the flagships of the lodge, starts from December and continues until March. In high season the numbers are impressive, with an average of 8-10 fish released per boat, which means that some days you could be tired of fighting these amazing buddies. The tuna are present throughout the year, as already mentioned, their presence is often joined to that of the dolphins, the size are extremely variable, from “football size” to beasts from 200300 pounds. The Dorado or Mahi-Mahi, but oversized version, (records of the

lodge: 68 pounds) are present all the year but their peak is just after the rainy season, when the trees and logs become a natural FAD for these wonderful animals. The Inshore fishing is fairly constant throughout the year with remarkable wildlife: fish. The Roosterfish, is the symbol fish of the lodge, the habit and temperature settle him. A great gamefish, the roosterfish can be undermined with almost all the attacks and fighting techniques. The records of the lodge say a 108 pound roosterfish was caught by a girl! A dinosaur that you will certainly not see every day, but catches like the one you see in the opening (60 pounds of muscle and power) possibly in the waters surrounding the Gulf Dulce. Other inshore highlights are the Cubere, uncountable species of Pargo (Snapper), Cernie, Jacks and other typical coastal predators, the Amberjack, to Wahoo, Barracuda, giant needlefish, but also Spanish mackerels, Bonito, Skipjack, that are always present like an epidemic. There are also another two fish that you may have not put on the wish list, but are pleasant surprises; they’re rare in this zone. The first one is the Tarpon, once Todd Staley; fishing manager of the lodge registered a hatchery in the Pacific. It was known that these fishes pass the Panama Canal and reach the opposed ocean, the Atlantic, but discovering about their reproduction on it, is a interesting thing, at least for us fishermen!

Fishing technique & Fishing Tackle

The different environments and the variety of potential prey, means that the CBL is an ideal place for almost all fishing techniques. Inshore the most profitable technique is spinning with lures and trolling with live, as well as the fishing in fondo. While offshore trolling is a must and the CBL is visited by many fly fishermen that want to catch Sailfish, Yellowfin, Dorado and Marlin (the maximum size normally does not exceed 600 pounds, with an average between 200 and 400lbs). Nicola Zingarelli has personally inspired me with his fishing articles in this magnificent place, specially the one about Vela fishing with spinning. If Iberia had not lost our suitcases and equipment for our entire stage, it could have been certainly

Useful information & how to arrive

The Crocodile Bay Lodge is located in Puerto Jimenez, at the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. You can reach the lodge by a domestic flight from the capital San Jose operated by the excellent airline Natureair, which covers various destinations and also connects to the neighbouring states of Panama and Nicaragua (www.natureair. com). The capital of Costa Rica, San Jose is a hub most served in Central America with 4-5 daily flights from Miami, which is only a three and a half hour flight. If you’re travelling from Europe, the best routes are those that fly in the capital of Florida (remember to fill in the TSA - U.S. immigration - before the trip). There is also a direct connection via Madrid with Iberia. Unfortunately, because of my recent negative experience (one week without bags, customer service does not exist), strongly discourage the Iberian company. The CBL has instead a very good service from the shuttle to/from the airport and everything that make you feel at home, a homely environment but very professional. Recently ‘The Lodge Resort’ became a resort thanks to the construction of a spa of 1200 m2 and offers in addition to fishing, numerous packages of ecotourism, horseback tours, kayaking, etc, in short; a place where fishing is like a crime, because we’re near to one of the most famous national parks in the world. Just do not forget sunscreen, Autan polarized glasses and a camera to capture the alligators that swim (peacefully) just behind the lodge (the name is not casually random!). For more info you can visit the website: (www. crocodilebay.com) or write to the author (kahuna@videospin.it).

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travel & adventure

not a joke, the penalties are heavy: $56,000 dollars and the confiscation of the boat. Maybe at this point you can think that being close to the Corcovado Park could limit our fishing zone, specially inshore, but the Corcovado within its small and medium river flows you can find a reproduction and nursery area that feeds the environment. The CBL’s policy is based on a deep respect for fish, and in particular that of the Billfish, Vela and Marlin; which can never taken on board, the Rooster are treated with extreme caution (they’re great fighters and after the combat they suffer). The angler can choose to take home a Yellowfin, Dorado and Pargos, although C&R is strongly encouraged.

a dream to be crowned. Finally, for those who want to compete with Amberjack, Cuberas and other predators on the deep, you could use vertical jigging, there are different spots a few miles off the Golfo Dulce. The lodge has 12 boats for the inshore/offshore fishing, such as Boston Whaler, Rambo and Strike Pro. Almost all the boats are open; they’re equipped with custom rods made especially ​​by the CBL for Lamiglas to fish inshore and offshore, coupled mostly with Shimano and Okuma reels, everything in excellent condition. The lodge also has a good supply of Jigging rods, so if you are not a fly fishermen angler or spinner you could travel light. Spinning rods are perfect with fast action and good backbone, casting power on 2 ounces are ideal and for the reel from 8000 (inshore) up to depending on what you are looking for. As baits, this is a topwater paradise, so depends on you, but don’t forget to bring some skipping lures and some softbait XL for the Sailfish.

A day in the park with an e-bike:

Lean, green, pedal-less power If you’re

product review

the tree-hugger type that loves to stroll around the great outdoors while saving the environment from those toxic things like fossil fuels, CO2 emissions and the sort, then chances are, you’ll be getting a hang of Phoenix Motorcar’s Electric-Bicycle just fine. This ‘e-bike’ has a removable lithiumbattery pack built into its frame which can be pulled out and charged in an ordinary wall outlet. Just be mindful of the charging indicator though, as the battery pack reaches full charge capacity (as indicated by a steady green light) and goes on a floating-charge state, which would waste precious electricity. The bike can go as fast as 25km/hour as you twitch the accelerator on the right handle bar which prompts the electric motor built onto the rear wheel axle to do its work. It can also run up to 27km on a full charge. We’ve managed to take a test ride with one of these bikes in the park and roadways of Al Barsha. Performance wise, the bike is very suitable for urban strolling and the asphalt road. The electric motor was doing its work well as we went for the automatic upon twisting the accelerator, propelling us at 20 to 23km/hour tops. The rider’s weight and terrain conditions would certainly affect the e-bike’s speed, notably in bumpy paths and in the sand. Could you use this bike in rocky and jagged terrains like, mountain paths? The e-bike’s design was not meant to be driven into those kinds of conditions. The electric motor’s life would certainly wear out fast if you’d even try. Like we said awhile ago, it’s suited for riding around your neighborhood, on the streets or any urban setting, making you travel a bit faster even if you feel lazy or just worn-out with working on the pedal. All in all, we were happy with how the e-bike performed. It was really cool, and sure fits our green-initiatives thing.

1 - unlock the seat from below and lift it up to make way for the battery pack 2 - lift the plastic cover-lock that secures the battery pack to the frame 3 - located under the seat, put the key in the the other indicated lock and twist to release the latch that secures the battery pack 4 - raise up the battery pack’s handle to pull it out of the e-bike 5 - carefully pull out the battery pack from the frame 6 - the yellow round sign shows where the cord goes when plugging the battery for a recharge 7 - A switch key that powers up the battery pack for electric drive

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THE CINCH

Theo Giani is a French climber living in Abu Dhabi. Climbing since the nineties he is one of the few climbing route developers in country. Best climb ever done: No Man's Land, Buoux in France 7a/b

Amazing Price!

Theo gives us a hands-on review of the Cinch from Trango, - a belay/rappel device. I bought the Cinch in 2009 when it was first imported in France and prompted by an enthusiastic review by Jean Claude Droyer, a mountain guide and French climbing master of the 80s and 90s, that appeared in the Vieux Campeur magazine. Ever since that time The Cinch, or as we call it in France, ‘Le Cinch’ has become my number one belay device. It's extremely light weight, compact and really efficient. I particularly appreciate the fluency and smoothness when giving slack and its safety compared to other assisted belaying devices. I believe that beginners are less prone to mistakes when they discover it for the first time. The fact that it is such an efficient and reliable assisted self belay is very important for me as it eases my mind and helps me to focus on the climbing when trying hard routes. From my experience the Cinch works very well with all diameters of ropes except possibly the very thick and worn out ones that you shouldn't climb with anyway. Actually, I have been so satisfied by the Le Cinch that I bought three: one for myself, one for my wife and one for my brother, each one of a different color. For all these reasons I strongly recommend the Cinch, keeping in mind that, like any safety device, it needs proper training (but learning how to use it pretty straightforward).

Pictured: Marie Cerati-Giani puttin g the Cinch into action

Theo Giani

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e r u t Adven Chick

a t a r r e F a i V tries our experts

Sometimes you make

Tori

writer, runner, blogger & adidas athlete PS. My email address is tori@fitchicksandfastwomen. com for thoughts, ideas, and suggestions… or just to say hello!

plans for a weekend that you expect to rate pretty highly on the fun-filled, feel-good fuelled, adventure factor. And then occasionally, they turn out not only to meet your expectations (in AC’s case, expectations are always high!) but to bypass top marks altogether.

My weekend with Muscat Diving & Adventure Centre (MDAC) was one of those. In fact, I find myself smiling at my screen as I type thanks to a super cool team and a physically challenging, slightly hair-raising yet enormously fun adventure aka Via Ferrata. Via Ferrata, I hear you cry? Whilst there are plenty who know all about Via Ferrata, have tried it, survived it and loved every second, there seem to be equally as many who’ve never heard of it so for those… Via Ferrata is not the latest brand of ‘it’ bag, sexy stiletto or lash-lengthening mascara… rather it is Italian for ‘road of iron’ and is essentially a mountain route equipped with fixed cables, zip lines and high wires. It’s basically a way to enjoy all the benefits of climbing without the need to use your own ropes or belays. The first via ferrate were built in the Dolomites during the First World War to facilitate the movement of the Italian mountain infantry. In Oman, there are three Via Ferrata routes; Grand Canyon, Snake Canyon and Bander Khayran, all of which were created and are now maintained by MDAC. I went head-first and signed up for the toughest of the three, Snake Canyon, which is basically a horseshoe circuit taking a few hours and certainly no suitable destination for the faint hearted. The two-hour drive from Muscat took us on a scenic route past villages, through wadis, amidst date palms and past countless smiling Omanis and roaming goats. Once there, we were given instructions, a safety briefing

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and the required equipment, namely a helmet and harness, gloves and pulley. Joe and Matt, my guides, were great … reassuring yet relaxed, casual yet certain; both a winning combination. The scenery is breathtaking as most of the route is a good 100m above the canyon floor. At four separate points, the route crosses the canyon, which is where the zip lines come into play. I’m glad to say that taking that initial leap of faith gets easier as your confidence grows and by the fourth, it seemed entirely natural to be stepping off a cliff into the abyss. The final ‘challenge’ was the monkey bridge involving two cables, a couple of metres apart, which you traverse across as if it were a tight rope. I tried my best at this point to not look down and to ignore Joe’s teasing about worn out cables and loose bolts… funny guy! We completed the course buzzing and with hands a little blistered and arms a little tight (although no broken nails thank heavens), we returned to town for a cuppa and a shower then spent the evening at Muscat Hills Golf Club, sipping drinks, lamenting over past adventures and star-gazing under the Muscat moonlight. Happy days. I left already in the throes of planning a return trip. The company have so many great activities; the hard part will be deciding what to choose next. Whether an outdoor novice or a seasoned pro, a little or a big kid, on your own or with friends or family, there really is something for everyone. They also do amazing school trips, often themed… think pirate songs, pigeon pies and gallivanting in Oman’s vast adventure playground … just hearing about them made me long to be a kid again. Finally, if not out camping and / or if needing a Muscat base, you

can stay at MDAC’s fab guesthouse; it’s a home from home, great value and a far cry from a soulless hotel room. I fully recommend, if you’ve got to this point in my column, to get out your diary and plan a little trip to Muscat. If you love the outdoors and you love people who love the outdoors then you will love this. Mountain magic, dramatic desert, cool canyons, winding wadis and wicked waves … all await you!

Need to know Who: Muscat Diving & Adventure Centre has activities to suit everyone so check out the website for full details. For the Via Ferrata, you do need to be pretty fit and able to hold your own bodyweight. Where: The centre is based in Muscat but activities / adventures take place all over Oman. Visit: www.holiday-in-oman.com Join: Oman Adventure on Facebook

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New Route by Pete Aldwinckle our experts

A quick Pete

Climber and all-round adventure seeker

glance upward confirmed my worst Cunning placement of rope behind heal for head first fall fears; the last few stumbling steps up the scree slope has made is conducted; this involves the removal of some loose no discernable impression on rock and examination of the the 350m or so of height to be blank areas for possible foot gained to reach my intended and handholds. An almost destination at the top of the forensic examination of the rock wall. An hour of mindless, blankest section reveals some indentations, small lung busting and leg punishing scoops and edges that could upward stumbling lies ahead, Oh No! This is not going well almost be described as oh joy! I have done it many possible or potential holds times before and know that it A week later and Intikhab has with one definite rest using a is just a matter of sticking at it elected to take photos, Guida is small hole in the rock. ready to belay and I am making It is time to see if it was possible and I will get to the top in the a very bad job of convincing to use these irregularities in the rock end. My rucksack loaded with myself that I am ready to climb. as holds and to link them together rope, bolts, drill and batteries Toe nails have been cut, harness to climb the potential line. Toby, will still weigh 25 plus kilos at checked four times and tying on Theo, Guida and I sequentially the top but it will just feel a lot has taken 10 minutes as I ensure attempt to climb the line. After the most perfectly dressed figure much undignified flailing, falling heavier.

Why? Good question I thought. What is this game climbers play? I have previously documented my climbing induced adrenaline addiction and it providing a live life experience. The dull upward trudge is now creating some serious doubts as to why and my mind wanders off to more stimulating thoughts. Two weeks previously, I had stood at the bottom of the rock wall I was now struggling to reach the top of. The morning has been spent preparing new routes and climbing previous projects. A possible line has been identified through a steeper section of rock and although pieces of it looked feasible to climb, there appears to be too many blank areas of rock to justify investing the time and energy in cleaning and bolting it. Curiosity eventually gets the better of me and a top anchor is installed. A slow abseil inspection

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off with many minutes of standing in a group behaving like animated chimpanzees waving our arms around trying to show a possible sequence of moves we manage to work out a way to climb the first steep section to gain a standing rest on a ledge. Above the ledge the climbing is less steep but the holds are almost indiscernible and the rock topography means that critical foot movements are executed by touch on hidden holds while maintaining a series of tenuous body positions. After several hours of sequentially working the moves we collectively agreed that the route is feasible but leading it will be a significant test of self control in order to clip the protecting bolts at the correct time to avoid being exposed to a potential fall with serious risk of injury. In the rapidly fading daylight the 12 required bolts are installed.

of 8 knot with an optimised tail length. Heart is beating hard as I try to gain some composure. The internal feeling is of runaway out of control jibbering; not confidence inducing. The rock feels too cold, almost icy and definitely very hard and unforgiving as I touch it for the first time at the start of the route. A few moves, a long reach and the first bolt is clipped, rest and try and compose. A couple of violent dynamic moves with feet slipping off water polished edges and I manage to pull myself into an almost balanced but uncomfortable one legged squatting position. Very slowly I adjust to clip my safety rope into the next bolt; heart pounding louder and faster, an acute awareness that if I should fall at the moment of clipping it is highly likely I will be hitting the rocks below. The carabineer snaps shut reassuringly and my blood pressure and heart

rate immediately drop to manageable levels. Relatively easier climbing allows access to the ledge at the start of the hardest section with the thin holds. Tension mounts inside me and I glance down to the valley floor for re-assurance from Guida. She provides absolutely none as she is staring straight ahead and not upwards; emotional expletives explode inside me. She asks if I am ok and I realise she is actually watching my every move intently with the aid of some bizarre prism glasses that give the wearer an alien or voyeur appearance. The fifth bolt is clipped at full stretch from small holds above the ledge; this is my protection for the next 4 to 5m of climbing. The holds feel smaller than last week. I try to dry the emerging sweet on my hands with chalk but it makes little discernable difference to my grip. “Focus, focus, think sequence and do not rush, control the movement and be deliberate,” I internally shout at myself with little effect. I pull up on my left hand, well two finger tips pressed into a small depression in the rock. I jump my right hand up from one small edge to another. Right foot up to an out of sight hold and twist body to transfer weight. “Focus and breathe, focus and breathe.” I am now three or four metres above the ledge. The rope that I am trusting to arrest a fall is hanging under me, snacking through the carabineer and down to Guida on the ground. A few more scratchy, unconvincingly executed moves yield further progress up the wall and then it starts going wrong. My body position is not right and my attempt to adjust my weight between my feet exacerbates the feeling of unbalance and the rising discomfort within me. The majority of my weight is now supported by two finger tips tenuously pressed into a small depression at waist height. If there was a sound track to my predicament it was rapidly changing from soothing through to some structured heavy metal and Motor Head are about to make an appearance. I am still trying to push the focus and breathe mantra but fail, big

time. I glance down to assess my feet knowing that I only have very limited time to adjust their position. I noticed my safety rope is inadvertently hooked behind my heel meaning that if I fall there is a high chance I will invert into a head first position and the ledge below is suddenly very close. Sweat is injected onto my hands and the full line up of Monsters of Rock join the sound track. Visions of shattered heads, blood and gore fill my eyes and then my foot pops off the rock. I push back as hard as I can to try and clear the ledge below while disengaging my heel from the rope. Time slows as I move into freefall and awaited impact on the ledge below. I notice that it is a still day, fresh and clean with birds singing. And then the rope drew tight, arresting my fall and there is no impact. I hang below the ledge the right way up and my head is intact, no blood, no red no pain. Adrenaline levels settle along with my breathing, Motor Head had left the stage; life is good. ‘Deep breathe focus, stop being pathetic and get a grip, you can and have done this. Your head is the barrier not the rock.’ And then there comes a time that I imagine all adventure sports participants experience, just “set the dials for the centre of the sun” and commit, and I mean truly commit with everything physically and mentally. The world reduces to a cone of pure focus and the next few seconds of events. Nothing else matters and with this almost altered state comes a clarity of thought, control of movement and a balanced state of mind, body and immediate environment that allows what had been insurmountable to be achievable. The rock can be climbed, the mountain can be skied, and the wave can be surfed. With the switch in my head state the holds did not get bigger, but I can use them. My feet stick to the rock and my movements take me naturally into balance. Uncertainty is replaced by a positive flow of movement that for moments feels like poetry. Ten minutes later I am almost at the top of the climb. Yes there are moments of uncertainty such as the sudden rise of involuntary spasms in both legs as I try to move across foot placements that are akin to almost vertical polished glass and upwards progress dependent on levitation. Disco leg is very funny as long as you are not the performer and after momentarily faltering I regained composure and move upwards to the top. Relief, elation and a hit of endorphins that leave me shaking controllably combined with a major smiley. And plod, plod, small slip off loose rock but the top of the scree was now in sight. Where had the last hour gone I asked myself, that was not too bad. Many thanks to Guida on belay and Intikhab behind the lens along with encouragement from both of you. RockIt, provisional grade of F6C+.

Yes you too can look like an alien

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Photos: Intikhab.

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Oman

Riding

by John Basson

Since

John

our experts

Moto/ATV and all round adventure seeker

my first ride in 2009 I have been thinking of a second, longer trip, in Oman. This time including the mountains and the Wahiba Sands. It was only after my visit to Salalah, in April last year, that the planning started: “Al Ain, through the mountains, Wahiba desert, and then all the way down to Salalah on my off-road bike!! Surely the trip was not going to be repeated in September. (We learnt our lesson first time round!!) As we had some complications regarding the availability of leave, the trip was scheduled for end of January 2012. With plenty of time at hand I was not too concerned regarding the planning. Lots of time to plan and thus hakuna matata for the time being… As only two of my riding partners have registered off-road bikes, the trip was planned with only Robert,

Louwtjie and myself. I had arranged a driver that was going to ride my pickup, with all the camping gear, to the various overnight spots. It was a great plan and allowing us to ride with lighter backpacks than the previous 20Kg+ packs!! It was not till a week prior to our departure that things started getting interesting. I requested our driver to go the border post and ensure that he would be allowed to enter Oman while driving my Pick-up. Surprise!!! He did not qualify for a visa and needed to be sponsored by a local in Oman to obtain a visa!! Not having any Omani friends, nor enough time remaining before our departure, the re-planning started. Now with only five days to departure and having to find and book 7 guest houses and re-plan the route, the pressure was on! I called Robert and Louwtjie to inform them about the changes and that we would no longer be camping every night. The mere suggestion to stay in some of these one-horse-town rest houses was enough to double Robert’s blood pressure. (Better not to quote his graphic description of the levels of hygiene commonly experienced at these “rest houses”) Robert then offered to rather drive his pick-up and be our support vehicle. Difficult to believe why any biker would do this, but he explained: “I would much rather drive my 4x4 and camp every night than ride my bike and make use of these rest houses.” After all just being out there, bike or pick-up, was more than enough for him. (Thanks again Robert!!)

Day One: 11 Hours 523Km

Louwtjie and I departed about an hour before sunrise from my villa. The plan was to be through the border by the time it was light enough to ride off-road. From the Hafeet border post we immediately

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turned left towards the mountains. As we had a long day planned the initial route was along dirt roads till Ibri. At Ibri we refuelled and turned toward the mountains to follow my planned route .The riding was good until I took a wrong gap and ended between two narrow ranges with very rocky terrain. These rocky areas really reduced the planned speed and handling the bike amongst the rocks was not easy. Eventually following a single goat track we crossed the ridge back onto the planned route. When planning a trip like this, I have found that a 35-40km/h average is realistic. It does not sound like a lot, but unless you do this professionally I think that it is a safe average to use, this includes using some good sections of dirt road riding. If all your riding is truly “Off-road” and not using any kind of road or tracks then 20km/h (or less) is more realistic.

We exited the mountains at Bahla from where it was about 150km tar road to Sinaw. This was also the last refuelling point prior to a long section before reaching the camp site in the Wahiba Arriving at the camp site, as the sun was touching the top of the majestic Wahiba dunes, was incredible!! By now Robert had already unpacked most of the gear and had started preparing dinner. We enjoyed Roberts gourmet meal and then off to bed for an early night.

Day Two: 9 Hours 277Km

Up before sunrise we made coffee while packing the campsite and prepping the bikes. The plan for the day was for Robert to follow the bikes through the Wahiba routing due south to Al Jazeera. This reduced the planned speed and distance for the day, but added to the adventure. The GMC is not the perfect vehicle to cross the desert, but with us leading and scouting good routes the 250km ride was uneventful. As we lost some time crossing the Wahiba, we revised the planning to only do about 60km more off-road riding for the day. The 1st 30km after Al Jazeera was an open, flat and fast, very fast, section. Whilst on this section, totally unexpected, at more than 100km/h my bike started

“losing” power and speed. Something was wrong!! Then as I looked back towards Louwtjie, I just saw mud flying everywhere. Unbeknown to us we were crossing a mud pan of which only the crust was dry. By now I was in 3rd gear, at full throttle and still losing speed!! Fearing getting stuck, and only having crossed about 1/3rd I started a wide turn to try and reach the dry area. Louw was fearless and pressed on with his more powerful 530 KTM. I cleared the mud at walking speed, full throttle in 1st gear and my Honda’s engine @ 120°c!! The remaining 30km section was reasonable shallow hills covered with small rocks. The camping was in a beautiful isolated spot amongst the ravines and again we were treated to Roberts cooking, before another early night.

Day Three: 10 hours 450km

The planned route was changed as we wanted to spend a “rest day” in Salalah. Due to the time lost the previous day, we had to do a longer section on the tar and less off road. Also we needed to get rid of the mud on the bikes. Riding with all this mud on the chain and suspension was not good for the bikes, especially now that it had dried. We drove to Ad Duqm hoping to find a “car-wash” in town. On the way there Louw’s bike cut-out on two occasions, only to start almost immediately and then ride for about 20min before she cut again?? We found a friendly water tanker driver in town who allowed us to use the tanker’s water to clean the bikes. We each took three extra bottles of fuel in our backpacks as the next section was more than 170km. We use normal 1.5 litre drinking water bottles, these are strong and I have done this many times. As soon as the bikes have used some fuel we stop

and transfer the fuel. This 170km section was very nice and due to the recent rain they had it was green with sprouting grass. Again Louw’s bike had several cut-outs. By the time we reached the next fuel stop we decided not to do any more off-road riding until we knew why the bike was cutting. We took the tar road to where Robert had been waiting and then investigated. We were pretty sure it was fuel starvation and suspected a blocked fuel filter. After draining all the fuel, inspecting the filter in the tank and opening the carburettor only to find both clean, I found the problem. The fuel had “decomposed” the fuel line from the tank to the carburettor!!! This was the 1st time in my life that I experienced a fuel line being damaged by fuel!?!? I repaired this by replacing the fuel line with some pipe I use to transfer fuel between bikes… With all the time now lost we decided to ride on the road till about 16h30 and then set camp just off the main road. Robert following us just in case Louw’s bike was still not ok… We set camp in a beautiful valley about 3km off the main road. It was very windy and only having cold water to shower with, late in the afternoon and the cold wind was, let’s just say: “interesting”.

Day four: 4 Hours covering 300Km

We decided to cancel all off-road riding and route direct to Salalah. There would be no sense in arriving late and not enjoy a rest day. (Afternoon) We reached Salalah by mid-day and after booking into our Hotel we rushed off to the Honda dealer before they closed for their afternoon siesta. (Our bikes needed a good wash and new oil.) A special thanks to the whole team at Honda Salalah. They welcomed us into their workshop and the technicians were very friendly and helpful. I had read about these guys being very helpful in an off-road article about three years ago. Well if any of you ever need help with your bike in Salalah, these are the guys to talk to!!

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our experts

Thank you to the team at Honda!! From here it was off to the souk for some shopping (Robert needed to buy his wife something nice as it was her birthday!!) and then to the beach for a photo with the bikes on the beach !!

Day 5: 14Hr covering 803km!!!!

The day started early for Louw and me, leaving the hotel before sunrise. It was tar road to Thumrayt where we cleaned both bikes’ air filters and had some coffee. Again extra fuel, four bottles each, as this was a 200km section and also the longest for the trip. The problem with extra fuel is how much?? If the terrain is good and you don’t get lost, then two bottles might be sufficient. The moment you ride in soft sand, or need to route around something you thought you could cross you might be short. All went well and I think this was the best section of the whole trip for me. The riding was very fast, but you could not relax for one second. Erosion had caused many small furrows and if you were not concentrating would see them too late! After about 150km into this section the wind picked up to about 30km/h. With the sand blowing and often making it very difficult to see the furrows we had to reduce our speed. By the time we reached

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Qatbit, the wind was howling and the riding condition very bad. We decided not to ride off road as our moving average would be too low. In no mood to camp in this sand storm I suggested to try and make a run to Natih. There is a very good and clean rest house that is only to be used by tourists and government officials. We used this two years ago and it was excellent. The only problem was that it was still 500km to this guesthouse! We got there about eight o’clock at night and let me just say this: “The seat of an off-road bike is not made for comfort!!”

Day 6: 7 Hours covering 280km.

Again Louw and I were up early and drove to the fuel station in Natih. From there the 1st 50km were awful!!! Rocks, rocks, and more rocks with many valleys and river beds to contend with!! We had a slow average and I also took the only tumble for the trip in this section. I was following a vehicle track that allowed for a bit of speed. Then suddenly saw that the road had been washed away causing a vertical drop into the riverbed. I really thought the bike might stop before the edge but with both wheels skidding I lost a “bit” of control and, at probably 2km/h, I went over the edge. The bike was so slow that it did not

even go all the way over the side. It just rested on the frame with the rear end still on the road and the front wheel hanging in the air. I, on the other hand, was not so lucky and went over the bars into the rocks. VERY lucky to obtain only minor injury to my wrist!!! The pesky wind again started to blow around 10am and with the same intensity as the day before. We met Robert in Ibri and prepared a final Brunch, while taking shelter behind a school wall. The final 120km stretch back to Al Ain was unpleasant and in strong wind with lots of sand all the way home. We had covered more than 2600km in 6 days, spent more than 40 hours on the bikes, but once you have ridden in Oman there will always be a voice calling you to return. The beauty and vastness of this land, lost in time, cannot be explained. Only experienced!!

Go For Gold & Ride safe, John Basson

Introducing Take a break from the kids.. with the kids! family Create your very own from a g n si o o ch y b re tu n e v ad ities iv ct a e iv ct ra te in f o ty varie ons that in inspiring destinati onding b y il m fa r u o y e v a h l wil ey. We rn u jo g in g n a ch fe li on a ycations design worry-free pla our hearts, in n fu s’ id k e th h it w in our ce a e p s t’ n re a p e th and minds. Contact us at: GetMeOnAPlane@ wildguanabana.com Facebook.com/ wildguanabana @wildguanabana www.wildguanabana.com

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our experts

Family Playcations

Sail

Setting

A closer look at how Hobie is changing the way people fish, the world over.

Growing up around

Kit

our experts

Our fishing pro

powerboats, the prospect of sailing was as alien to me as the sands of Mars. It looked complicated, cumbersome, and just over all hard work. To my young mind, sailing was turning the ignition key; slowly motoring out of the yacht club, then blasting yourself out to your destination at 30 knots or over.

I was adventurous (still am) and wanted to see what this sailing business was about. My curiosity got the better of me when a friend asked me if I would like to join him “sailing”. I had a ton of questions and more importantly, I wanted to see something I read about but have not seen with my young skeptical eyes, sailing upwind. I know you could do it, but how it was done was such a mystery to me that when the chance came to go sailing on a real sailboat, I jumped on it. There were so many things to remember and do that I honestly couldn’t keep track. What I discovered that day was the reason why people go sailing…the feeling of freedom. I got myself competent enough to get invited to sail with him regularly and learned the ropes

quite fast. However, I still found it all intimidating and complicated that I wouldn’t dream of being the skipper of a sailboat. The first time was truly amazing. We motored out of the yacht club and when we reached the channel, the motor was turned off, and the sails came up and out. As I watched the sails filling up with the stiff breeze and catching it, I could not believe how something as simple as wind can move something forward… fast.

First Contact

Summertime is a time of peace for me, this is the time when I can paddle around and have most of the water to myself and my friends. We would go out really early in the morning to catch first light in the water and fish for anything that would bite our offerings. Launching from the beach just at the foot of Palm Jumeirah with the whole stretch of beach almost to yourself; it is a sight for sore eyes. I was already about halfway to the first entrance of the Palm when I looked back and saw this car pulling up with three “kayaks” on top of its roof. It looked pretty strange to see a big kayak being unloaded and gingerly placed on the sand and the two other smaller kayaks placed beside it. I just had to stop and look at what was unfolding on

the beach. The guy took out a few bags and laid them on the sand and proceeded to put together what seemed to me, a giant kayak version of jigsaw puzzle. What was strange to me was when he took down, from the roof, a really long sock of sorts. I told myself, wow, that’s a really long fishing rod! I wanted to share my amusement with my friends but when I looked for them, they were already quite far and I was left alone, watching the guy putting this thing together. Clearly, this was something out of the ordinary! The Long pole that I thought was a fishing rod turned out to be a post of sorts. The smaller “kayaks”, were a part of the whole thing. By the time he was done (which didn’t take long) I saw an outrigger canoe with a sail! I was beside myself. In the Philippines, we have something similar called “Paraw”; an outrigger canoe fitted with a sail. My amazement grew bigger when he dragged the whole contraption to the water and started to do something pretty strange; he started to pedal the boat! He was moving at a pretty impressive pace when out of nowhere, a sail appeared! At this point in time, I was too busy picking up my lower jaw to notice that he zipped passed me and was heading towards the horizon. In a daze, I paddled towards the direction my friends took and slowly started moving, shaking my head in disbelief, a sail powered kayak that you pedal, that is certainly something you don’t see every day, even for a place like Dubai…man made palm shaped islands and all.

Hobie and the Mirage Drive

I couldn’t help myself, I had to googled it first chance I got. I found out that the thing I saw was indeed a kayak, but is classified as a trimaran, built by Hobie (the same company that makes the Hobie Cats) and it is called The Hobie Mirage Adventure Island.

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The pedal interested me the most. Because no matter how advanced a paddle you have, you don’t have 100% of your energy spent on going forward. At the very most, you get around 80% efficiency on your strokes. I found that they have a range of kayaks they call “mirage drive”. They have holes in their hull to house the mirage drive, a contraption that works in the same principle of how penguins propel themselves underwater (looking closely at penguins underwater; you will notice that they “fly”). This Mirage Drive is supposed to do the same; they flap and propel you forward. Being under the boat, each stroke you make is a stroke to move you forward dedicating all the energy you spent on each stroke to the forward movement. As an angler, this means added range, and it’s just plain easier. Since your legs are doing all the work, it frees your hands and you can do a lot of things while your kayak moves forward. It almost feels like you’re walking in water. For someone who loves to troll off kayaks, this made things simpler…in theory. Fast forward a year or so, I had the chance of playing with a couple of models of Hobie kayaks and have come to find that it really is easy fishing with the Mirage Drive. Fishing around rocks and submerged structures, you simply “pull” the fish away from the snag! You pedal hard and steer away. This maneuver will yank the fish away from the snag and give you a fighting chance of landing it. Something very hard to do in conventional kayaks. The Mirage Drive gives you range, efficiency and ease of use. But for some people, this is not enough; which is precisely the reason why I still had the Adventure Island in my mind. With both a Mirage Drive and a sail, everything is multiplied exponentially, the possibilities of reaching less pressured waters offshore and out of most paddler’s range plus a tried and true seaworthy ocean going kayak, could sometimes be too much to bear. The real question is, how would you configure a sailboat into a full-blown fishing machine?

Sailing forward

I laid the Amas on the beach beside the Adventure’s main body, I couldn’t stop myself from smiling ear to ear. Assembling everything took only a few minutes and by the time I strapped the Amas to the Akas and put the 15 foot mast on, I stepped back and couldn’t help but chuckle. “That is quite an impressive sight isn’t it?” I told Richie. “It sure is buddy! I wonder how fast it could go in a stiff breeze like this!” He quipped. “There’s only one way to find out!” I said.

The breeze was chilly that afternoon and racing dhows were zipping up and down the coast. I paddled to deeper water and pulled the mainsheet to unfurl the sail, as soon as the sail caught some wind, the boat started moving. I trimmed the sail by pulling the mainsheet and the boat rocketed forward towards the Burj Al Arab, (I felt the same feeling of freedom I did when I was a young boy, only this time, I was sailing alone). With only two lines to mend, the mainsheet and the furling line, things are simpler. The Mirage Drive is there and is used only to paddle out and position the boat for a favorable angle on the wind. I sailed past a guy on a kayak and he was looking in amazement. I smiled and waved, much like the guy did to me a year ago; I nodded and he gave me a thumbs up, I tightened the mainsheet, put on the daggerboard and headed towards the racing dhows.

Hobie Kayaks are exclusively distributed in the UAE by Leisure Marine. Visit their website or go to one of their shops in Shk. Zayed Road (beside Ace Hardware) and at the JBR Walk. http://leisuremarine-me.com Give them a call at +971 4 4243133 or find them on facebook (Leisure Marine - Beach St)

Till next tidechange, Kit

Wait for me fishies…I’m coming to get you!

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Musandam

Family Fishing Adventure! by Nick Bowles

our experts

It is always great when

we are able to do a job that we truly love and can share with others, but especially with family. I had my Mom and partner, along with a few old family friends from South Africa visit us in Dubai. We initially had been playing tour guide around Dubai and showing everyone all the amazing sights and shops around the Emirate. I thought it was tough showing clients around... but family is 10 times harder as you want to make sure that everything is 110%! But it was all good fun and really nice to have them out here and show them what we do!

It is quite amazing. When I grew up, it was the same group of family and friends that used to take me fishing, camping and on various adventures in and around South Africa. I think this is where I get my longing for adventure and my passion for fishing. So it is really nice that I’m able to repay the compliment. Cameron with a kingfish caught by Murray

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After spending a few days in Dubai seeing all the sights like the Tallest Building, Tallest Hotel, Fountains and multiple Souks (local markets) we headed for our Ocean Active territory, Musandam Oman. I had arranged one of the 70ft liveaboard dhows that we use for charters so we could stay up in the Musandam for three days. I also took our 40ft Center Console “Al Sayyad” with Capt Cameron Mundy one of our captains and guides to help out. It was all a bit of a culture shock from Dubai as Dibba Musandam Oman is a rather rural little town, but has an amazing atmosphere and an old World vibe. It is a short 1.75 hours drive from Dubai but it is worlds apart. So after many pictures, we managed to pack all the gear onto the dhow and left for our 3 day adventure. From the start, we got into great fish. We were not using heavy popping gear as normal but mainly light tackle with small

Kelvin with a Ginat Trevally (GT)

Family cruising to the fishing grounds

Nick and Kelvin with a Sailfish caught by Kelvin

Kelvin fighting a Ginat Trevally (GT)

Cameron with a GT Caught by Murray

swimbaits and stickbaits. We managed to catch some nice kingfish, GTs, bigeye trevally and queenfish. We caught a great sailfish one evening with all of the family on the boat including my 2-year-old son. We all had a front row seat of the aerial display! Really amazing to watch and to have everyone on the boat. We must have got hundreds of pictures of the battle and then of the fish before the sailfish was released back into the water to fight another day. We fished for the next few days with perfect weather and company. We had some huge fish take the lures that we could not stop but all part of the fun of fishing with light tackle. We would wake up in the morning have breakfast on the upper deck of the dhow and head out for a bit of fishing and then come back for lunch a short cat nap and then head out for a late afternoon fishing session. Some of the team would decide to stay on the dhow and swim to the island, snorkel or paddle around on one of the kayaks. Then in the evening we sat on the upper deck of the dhow under the stars and reminisced

of passed trips and adventures, a really special time. It was truly a relaxing trip and how any fishing trip should be! Not all fishing trips are about catching huge fish it is all about having a great experience and creating long lasting memories, especially with family!

Family shot with Nick, Mich and Zack

Team picture on the dhow with a touch or Arabia.

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s y a w h t toto a P

Activity by Ian Ganderton

our experts

In this

series of articles I’m looking at possible pathways to activity. Often folks like the idea of kayaking, mountain biking or climbing here in the region but don’t know where to start or what’s available. I want to try and help a bit by pointing out a couple of places to start on a path whether you’re a complete beginner or someone who’s played the game before but is new to the region. In this issue I’ll take a look at white water kayaking, the scene here in the region and how to give it a go or get involved. Even in the crazy world of the Sandpit I never thought I’d be writing this article. Yes you read it right, white water kayaking!! “But we’re in the desert” I hear you say. Well I kid you not, there is now a very viable and excellent activity pathway to the game that has defined significant chunks of my life, white water kayaking. This pathway has only just opened, literally, and it’s come in the form of what is probably the largest facility of its kind in the world (obviously, this is the UAE after all). Sitting at the base of Jebel Hafet, Al Ain, is Wadi Adventure (www. wadiadventure.ae). At this impressive facility there is over a kilometre of manmade white water river in 3 different rivers, a blue run suitable for beginners, a green run suitable for intermediates and the black which will keep the experienced boaters entertained along with providing an excellent white water

That’s my worried face

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rafting experience. Along with the three rivers there is a huge surf pool that will throw out the biggest (of course!) and most regular man made waves in the world. What else do you need to know? Perhaps that its well floodlit and that paddling or surfing at night is awesome or perhaps that with it being tucked right under the flanks of Jebel Hafet it has one of the most spectacular backdrops of any sports facility in the region. This really is a world class facility on our doorstep and is likely to feature in quite a few of my articles as I help you make the most of it. But enough of my gushing, how do I think you are best going to make the most of this new opportunity?

Getting started

Fergus (meet him on page 47!) scouting the stream

White water kayaking is not one of the activities that I’d recommend buying some kit then going out and just getting on with it, that’s a sure fire way to get hurt. I think it was Dave Manby who pointed out the blindingly obvious “as humans we can’t breathe water” at a white water safety conference many moons ago. White water has dangers that won’t be obvious to the inexperienced eye. My advice to the beginner kayaker is the same as that of the beginner climber. Get yourself on a course to find out if you like it or not and then you need to attach yourself to an active kayaker or group of kayakers and serve your apprenticeship. At Wadi Adventure Fergus and his team will provide you with everything you need to get you on the water safely. They are a hugely experienced and enthusiastic team and the kit they have, carries all the correct stamps and marks that would be required at any facility running to internationally recognised standards. Because white water kayaking has only

become possible in the past few weeks the outdoor retail side will take some time to catch up. Considering they are a shop based in a region known for its desert, Adventure HQ has a very good selection of white water boats, paddles, PFD’s and accessories. I know they will be developing this over time to support the community as it grows and I also know that there is a shop planned for Wadi Adventure.

The intermediate stage

Once you’ve got to grips with the basics and your starting to move towards being a kayaker is when being based here opens up some very interesting possibilities. Firstly, white water kayaks don’t just work well on rivers they are also great fun in surf. Dropping down a wave is a thrill to be savoured whether on a board or a boat and surf also provides an excellent playground for practicing freestyle moves, flat spins and blunts on the green, throwing ends on the white. Big mushy days also provide an excellent introduction to the kind of powerful waves you get on big volume rivers. You’ll get plenty of opportunity to practice your roll. Secondly just a short budget airline hop away is Nepal, home of some of the best kayaking in the world. Don’t be hoodwinked into thinking that because Nepal has the Himalaya forming a significant part of the country there is only raging mountain torrents ready to tear you to pieces. There are, actually, a huge amount of lower and middle grade rivers perfect for the intermediate paddler to cut their river running teeth on. Multi day trips are where Nepal really

Going...

a safe and quality product. Running a kayak school isn’t just a case of having a couple of boats and pointing people down rapids in an ‘in at the deep end’ teaching style. It takes huge experience, patience and understanding. I’d recommend NOT booking through an agent but ensuring you go direct to the provider, before you book you should have spoken to (via email will do) someone who actually works on the courses. They should have asked you a lot of questions about your experience, ability and aspirations to ensure they put you on the right rivers with the right people. Here are 2 providers I can personally recommend for either rafting or kayaking trips: Going...

Pure Land Expeditions

(www.purelandexpeditions.com) – Daz Clarkson runs Pure Land Expeditions and is one of the world’s leading authorities on expedition paddling. He has just coauthored the latest (third) edition of the Nepal White Water Guide and this spring will be attempting a staggering solo expedition “Riding the Tears of Everest”. His trips are run for paddlers by paddlers and his experience is second to none.

GRG Rafting and Kayaking

Gone.

(www.grgadventurekayaking.com ) – A Nepal based company run by the husband and wife team Malia and Chrissy. It says a lot about the depth of experience and expertise when you know that Malia is currently the National Kayak Champion in Nepal after winning the Himalayan Whitewater Championships for a third year...who better to teach you to kayak!

For the experienced boater

Laugh it off Tara, laugh it off!

excels and what could be better than kayak schools journeying down perfect rivers backdropped by the snowcapped Himalaya, rafts carrying your kit and stopping at white sandy beaches to camp under perfect starry skies while sharing rafters rum punch round a campfire with the team. Nepal really is paddling nirvana and you can catch a flight from Dubai in the morning, be in Kathmandu for lunch and paddling the next day. But, some words of caution. Unfortunately not all the operators offering kayaking experiences aimed at the intermediate paddler are providing

Nepal 2011

You must have asked yourself many times already how on earth you ended up in the desert. You’re a kayaker for goodness sake, what are you doing here? It’s a question I’ve asked myself for sure. Well now your time has come around again. From a travelling kayaker’s point of view this is a great central location with some of the world’s premiere paddling destinations just a short hop away. To the west we have the mighty African torrents of the Zambezi and the Nile, to the east we have Asia’s Himalayan selection from steep creeks to big volume classics. Also, what you might not have realised, is that to our north we have some fantastic exploratory kayaking to be done in Iran. Big snow capped mountains and sunshine provide the key kayaking ingredients of water and gradient. Yes I know it’s politically a bit complicated at the moment but where there’s a will there’s a way. About 10 years ago I was part of the team that completed the first descent of the Karun, a classic 4 day grade 4 trip. Dave Manby has been exploring the area for a while and I have

some contacts there that I should make the most of. One of the problems has been one of preparation. With Wadi Adventure now open its possible to prepare better for a trip so that shoulders and timing are sorted and ready for tougher water. Exactly how the paddling community will come together remains to be seen. If you’re interested your best option at the moment is to ‘like’ the Outdoor UAE facebook page and/or sign up for updates on my blog (www.ianganderton.wordpress. com ) and I’ll let you know about developments as I find them. While Ian is an active climber, kayaker, mountain biker and qualified outdoor instructor here he is truly happiest when floating on a river somewhere in Nepal with the rest of the river flotsam living out of the back of a kayak.

Iran 2001 (photos by Paul Oz)

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People

Wayne Gray people

Name: Wayne Gray What would you say your Outdoor Hobbies and or Passions would be? Motocross/motorsport photography, any action sport really. I also ride a bit of motocross, but not as often as I would like. When did you start this hobby/ passion? I have been involved in racing my entire life, from my grandfather and my dad on superbikes, and my 2 older brothers in enduro and motocross. I raced motocross and enduros when I was younger and have always followed motorsport. I started taking photos by chance at the first round of the Dubai motocross championship in the 2010/11 season and got hooked. A big thanks to the riders and all involved for their support from the start. What inspired you to do it? I had bought a basic entry level SLR camera, just for taking random photos and thought I would see if I could get anything worthwhi­­­le at the motocross. I knew what my brother would like to see and look for in photos of him racing, and tried to see if I could do it. I got some fairly decent photos that first day and since then I have spent a lot of time at the tracks trying different settings to get the photos better. Riders love seeing photos of themselves laying it flat in the turns or throwing whips over the jumps, so I always try to get the best angles and create different perceptions.

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Where do you go to do it, what interests you about it? Locally I go to the DMX track at Jebel Ali, the track at the Emirates Motorplex in Umm al Quwain and out with guys in the desert. There is also some big events coming up soon, like the Abu Dhabi desert challenge and the Red Bull X-fighters in April, so hopefully I will be at those as well... it interests me because no two photos are the same and im always working to get better photos and trying different things. There are so many options in photography, that you will always be trying something new. What can you recommend to our readers? If its photography you are into (or are thinking of getting into) just remember to have a lot of patience, it takes a lot of time and effort, it can be frustrating as hell sometimes, but when you get the result you looking for, it’s all worthwhile. Take photos of something you are passionate about to keep you interested; you won’t find me taking photos of fruit bowls and flowers all day. Where can people find you online? Right now you can find me on facebook, by searching for “Wayne gray” or you can also see my photos on the “Dubai motocross club” page. Soon I will have a “Wayne gray photography” page on facebook and I will follow that up with a website in the near future.

Fergus Coffey people

Name: Fergus Coffey Nationality: Multi-national, a combination of the colonialist and the colonies Age: 30 Where are you from: I was born in Salem, but I grew up on the South Coast of the UK and then left as soon as possible. Why did you come to Dubai: The whitewater course at Wadi Adventure in Al Ain was the main reason that I came to the UAE. The opportunity to develop a whitewater center and community of paddlers in the desert was just too interesting to pass. What is your passion and how did you get into it? Whitewater Kayaking has been a large part of my life for a long time. A friend got me into slalom racing, after a few years of racing I left the UK and moved to Canada. Since then it has been a combination of good people, interesting places and the constant ability to improve and sometimes scare myself that has kept the motivation alive. Where and how do you usually practice it in the UAE? The whitewater course at Wadi Adventure is the only place in the UAE to paddle whitewater and it’s a great training ground for paddlers of all levels. Do you have any specific tips & tricks for this? Whitewater Kayaking is not an instant gratification sport, much like surfing, and perseverance pays off in a large way. Get the founding techniques down, learn how to read the water as well as rolling and then the only thing limiting you is how far you really want to take it. What is your next planned adventure? The next trip will be in June to meet up with some old friends in Idaho for 3 weeks of paddling whatever rivers the snow pack gives up during the melt. Given the time of year the Rockies are likely to be the best place to go for whitewater outside of the Sierras, and maybe Russia. What would you recommend our readers if they wanted to get into what you do? Come out to Al Ain and take a lesson with us, see if you take to it and then get out the water as much as possible. If you are keen then learn how to roll and you can really accelerate from there.

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Barasti

Sailing Club

Barasti Sailing Club @ Al

spots & locations

Jeer Marina, Ras Al Khaimah is the latest and arguably the coolest place to check out on the UAE’s outdoor circuit.

At the most northerly point in the Emirates, this is the perfect launch point for sailors heading to the Musandam Peninsular. Port Sea Entrance: North 26 02 56 - EEast 56 04 58 and by the road, Al Jeer is ideally situated just before the Al Dara Border crossing with Oman, thus making an ideal stopover for that visa run and offering a short or extended break location.

Where the mountains meet the sea and a truly unspoiled Arabia greets the gulf.

Where the mountains meet the sea and a truly unspoiled Arabia greets the gulf. The Marina was recently

accredited as a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) training centre and has already hosted an RYA Dinghy Instructor course (The first to be held in the UAE) and power boat courses. Boating courses are run by the Coastal Sea School, who have taken up residency at Al Jeer. Other attractions and facilities planned for 2012 include; a scuba dive company, sea fishing trips, dhow tours, party boat, further water sports, plus a visa and cruising boat permit service for Musandam.

Enjoy a shisha or cocktail in a sublime location

The crystal waters here, that are unpolluted by the many construction projects throughout other parts of the region make for excellent diving, sport fishing and wildlife viewing – turtles are often seen swimming in the marina.

Did you know?

From the Arabic, “Al Jeer” means- “of the rock”. The port and surrounding breakwaters were constructed in 2008, using the local mountain rock. Barasti Sailing Club takes its name from the locally sourced date palm material, which adorns the clubhouse and terrace. The fully licensed clubhouse features a relaxing veranda, constructed from ships wood. A simple and tasty menu offers BBQ food and Fish n Chips. There are free bar games of pool, table football, darts or board games and there is even an outdoor area to play a game of boule in these stunning surroundings. Free high speed Wifi, a business centre and a kidz corner with games and videos make this a great family friendly facility. Overnight stays are free, if pitching your own tent, or you can sleep in the “Glastonbury Suite” of tented accommodation for only AED 50 per person.

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Kids swimming

Enjoy a shisha or cocktail in a sublime location

Veranda and mountains

Gateway to the Musandam

Our introductory berthing rates are: Day: AED 100 Monthly: AED 13 per foot Annually: AED 130 per foot Catamarans charged x 1.5 of rates

event reviews and reports

The marina has power and water to its berths. A well stocked marina shop has all the necessary boat supplies of ice and alike, a full laundry service, fuel and boat cleaning services are also available. There are storage cages for hire for those spare tarps, fenders or ropes, or even warehouses and offices for marine related businesses. Aside from the obvious attraction of Musandam and the Arabian Fjords, only 15 nautical miles to the north, Al Jeer makes an excellent adventure training base, as there are many attractive spots nearby: The local surfers beach is only 5 minutes walk, the famous Stairway to Heaven climb is 10 minutes drive away and a pearl diving farm, which is RAK tourism’s latest addition is also close by. There are no shortage of wadi and desert driving routes. For those culturally minded, there is a Heritage

Village and museum in the next town. The Queen of Sheeba’s palace ruins and a sea turtle sanctuary are all within easy reach. During the magical sunsets this stunning backdrop turns a golden hue.

Port Manager; Tim Bomberg says:

“Unlike other marinas in the region, what we offer are tranquil and natural surroundings, where you can truly get away from it all” For all enquiries contact Tim Bomberg on 0504873185 or om@aljeerport. ae – website: www.aljeerport.ae Alternately come and visit us on stand ESS 225 at Dubai International Boat Show under RAK Ports.

Boats and mountains looking North

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Stand Up Paddle

Abu Dhabi’s Eastern Mangroves

spots & locations

Stand Up Paddling

or SUP is the world’s fastest growing watersport for good reason. Of course celebrities across the globe can be seen paddling on waterways from Hawaii to Italy, but that’s not the sole reason we all are jumping, literally, on board. Instead it’s simple. SUP is relatively easy to learn, it’s an activity that all ages can enjoy and the health benefits are obvious from the moment you stand up and take that first stroke.

Stand Up Paddling not only keeps you physically strong, but mentally refreshed as well. It uses muscles that you never knew you had and in just a matter of time you’ll start seeing and feeling the results. A more toned you, that’s healthy and strong is a result of a workout that you can actually use the word fun in the same sentence. Add in the social side of SUP, where friends join together to enjoy the outdoors, catch up on the week’s gossip and take some time to de-stress, why wouldn’t you want to grab a board and paddle and set out to sea.

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In Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Stand Up Paddle Club, founded in 2009 is out on the water most weekends enjoying the coastline by SUP. Taking in the sights of the

Abu Dhabi Skyline and Grand Mosque by SUP are a great way to see the city from a different angle. It is important though that all paddlers use caution and be aware of dangerous jet ski drivers as well as weather conditions. Friday mornings when there is no wind and the jet skis are still asleep is ideal. While these are definitely spectacular views, the Eastern Mangroves has to be the best paddling spot in town. You won’t see many jet skis flying around these parts too! Located off of Salam Street, the Eastern Mangroves provides a peaceful retreat, just minutes from the traffic and noise of the city. The Abu Dhabi SUP Club does regular

that gather here during this time. Regardless of the tides, stand up paddling in the mangroves will bring a smile to face every time and leave you planning your next trip out.

Location: Eastern Mangroves – Off Salam

Street

Find out more about stand up paddling in Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Stand

Up Paddle Club – www.abudhabisup.com Weekly and monthly social paddles are organized at different spots in Abu Dhabi. Contact Jen Scully 050 905 9743 abudhabisup@gmail.com social paddles in the Mangroves and this is one paddle not to be missed. When it’s high tide you can enjoy cruising through the narrow mangrove mazes that branch off the main channel watching the fish swim under you and the crabs crawl across the sea floor. You can see heron sitting on the mangroves branches and even swans enjoying the peaceful water. In high tide you can explore more of the mangroves as low tide only allows you to go so far. This shouldn’t discourage you from getting out though, certainly because this is the best time to spot the large number of flamingos

Looking for a SUP board?

Naish Middle East www.kitesurfsup.com Contact Leigh: 055 935 2735

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Navigator

Aquapure Filter

­ utdoorUAE recently asked its readers on Facebook - is O water from the tap safe to drink with a filter?

tips & tricks

One

of our readers commented; ‘Apparently the tap water here is safe to drink, it’s just the storage tanks in houses that are the problem’… Sparking a debate in the office and bringing the topic to light, we got in touch with Alex Fisken from Navigator International, who distributes products from Pure Hydration (found in Picnico and Adventure HQ). Pure hydration filters are from the UK and are endorsed by the Hospital for tropical diseases in London, they come in all forms and sizes: for the traveller, at home and even products for the military. We were really interested in the home products and how that might work being installed beneath your sink, which we will explain later- but first Alex ran through the technology behind why these pure hydration’s filters are so unique. A Pure Hydration Filter like the one in Aquapure traveller, eliminates viruses and bacteria such as E-Coli, Polio, Hepatitis A, and others. It removes waterborne pathogens, including Giardia, Crytosporidium, etc. It also removes toxic chemicals and heavy metals. Unlike other filters it also removes bad taste, odours and sediment. It is the perfect solution for holidaymakers, adventurers, business travellers, in fact, anyone who needs access to pure, fresh water anywhere in the world. By using the Aquapure Traveller, you are helping the environment by not disposing the equivalent of 700 plastic bottles per filter. No chemicals or complicated procedures just fill and drink. You will know when the filter needs changing, as it will gradually get harder to squeeze as the filter absorbs more. Eventually it will stop completely in which case the filter will need to be replaced. Good practice is also to avoid cloudy water, take water from faster flowing parts of rivers

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1

3

A cup full of sediment and dirt

and streams and from the surface rather than the bottom as the filter may get prematurely blocked. Another great product which is good for travelling are in-line filters, pictured below. They work by feeding onto any inline water system made for: Camelbak™ Platypus™, Source™, Blackhawk™.

So now we know how the filter works – how do we go about installing this at home? Extremely simple to fit under your sink, the drinking water filtration system is something you can install the Pure Hydration without a plumber. The filter portion can be changed twice a year and you know when it stops working, as the filter will not release any water through it. You can also use it for your caravans, boats; anywhere there is a sink in place. For more information about pure hydration systems get in touch with Alex on: Tel: 050 6245069 Email: afisken@navigator-international.com

In-line Filter

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Open the bottle and pour the dirty water in

Give the bottle a good shake, wait around 5-10 minutes to make sure the filter is activated and pour away. This is how clear the water came out, and importantly disease free!

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OutDry® The OutDry® waterproofing system is based on patented proprietary lamination processes and equipment that bond a waterproof, breathable membrane directly to the back side of a product’s outermost layer, creating a unique one-piece component while sealing the stitching and any other potential water entry points.

Absolutely waterproof. Highly breathable. Superior dexterity.

The result is superior waterproofing, breathability, comfort and fit. OutDry® construction processes eliminate air pockets created by the decades old, industry, standard bootie/bladder waterproof construction. These outdated methods, where water and debris can collect in-between layers, can result in added weight while reducing insulation benefits, ultimately causing discomfort to the user.

Ultra-lightweight shoe designed for those looking to move quickly through the outdoors. Designed to traverse any terrain with speed, agility, support and protection. Scrambling fast-approach, fast packing, run-hike or any outdoor endeavor that requires “less is more” and the “only essentials” attitude is where this product excels.

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Available at all Columbia stores in the U.A.E.

Directory General Sports Equipment Megastores

Adventure HQ, Dubai Times Square Center, Sheikh Zayed Rd, Toll free: 800-ADVENTURE, www.adventurehq.ae Decathlon, Dubai, Mirdiff City Centre, +97142839392 Go Sport The Dubai Mall, Dubai, +97143253595 Go Sport, IBN Battuta Mall: 04-368 5344, Mall of the Emirates: 04-341 3251, Mirdif City Centre: 04-2843034 InterSport, Dubai, Times Square Centre & Dubai Festival City, +97142066587, www.intersport.ae Sun and Sand, Most Shopping Centres

Adventure tours and desert safaris

MMI Travel, Mezzanine Floor, Dnata Travel Centre, Shk Zayed Road, Dubai, +97144045859, www.mmitravel.ae Alpha Tours, +97142949888, www.alphatoursdubai.com Cyclone Tours & Travels, Abu Dhabi, Khalifa Street, +97126276275, www.cyclonetours.com Desert Rangers, +97143572233, Dubai, www.desertrangers.com Dream Days, +97144329392, www.dreamdays.ae

Dream Explorer LLC, Dubai, +971433198801, www.dreamexplorerdubai.com, Element Fitness, Dubai, +971 050 2771 317 www.element-fitness.net Explorer Tours, Dubai, +9714286199, www.explorertours.ae, Net Group, Dubai & Abu Dhabi, +97126794656, www.netgroupauh.com Oasis Palm Dubai, Dubai, +97142628889, www.opdubai.com Rahhalah, Dubai, +97144472166, www.rahhalah.com Relax Tours Travels, Dubai, +97144221776, www.dubairelaxtours.com Wild Guanabana, Dubai, +971 056 7954 954, www.wildguanabana.com

Air

Ballooning Adventures Emirates, Dubai, +97142854949, www.ballooning.ae Jazirah Aviation Club, Ras Al Khaimah, +9716139859, www.jac-uae.net Seawings, Dubai, www.seawings.com Sky Dive Dubai, Dubai, +971501533222,

www.skydivedubai.ae

Boating & Sailing

Manufacturer Al Fajer Marine, Dubai, Al Quoz, +97143235181, www.alfajermarine.com Al Shaali Marine, Ajman, +97167436443, www.alshaalimarine.com Gulf Craft, Ajman, +97167406060, www.gulfcraftinc.com Distributors & Dealers Art Marine, Dubai, +97143388955, www.artmarine.net Azure Marine, Dubai, +97143404343, www.azuremarine.net Leisure Marine Beach Hut, Dubai, The Walk JBR, +97144243191 Luxury Sea Boats, Dubai, +971505589319, www.luxuryseaboats.com Macky Marine LLC, Dubai, +971505518317, www.mackymarine.com The Boat House, Dubai, Al Quoz, +97143405152, www.theboathouse.ae Equipment Al Masaood Marine, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, +97143468000, www.masaoodmarine.com Blue Waters Marine, +97142232189, Dubai, www.bluewatersmarine.com

Extreme Marine, Dubai, + 97143992995, www.extrememarine-me.com Rineh, Dubai, Al Quoz, +97143391512, www.rinehemiratesme.com Repair and maintenance Extreme Marine, Dubai, Dubai Marina, + 97143992995, www.extrememarine-me.com Rineh, Al Quoz, +97143391512, www. rinehemiratesme.com The Boat House, Dubai, Al Quoz, +97143405152, www.theboathouse.ae Cruise Operators Al Bateen Marina, Abu Dhabi, +97126665491, Www. marinaalbateenresort.com Al Marsa Travel & Tourism, Dibba, Musandam, +96826836550, +97165441232 Art Marine, Dubai, +97143388955, www.artmarine.net Bateaux Dubai, Dubai Creek – opposite the British Embassy, +97143994994 Bristol Middle East, Dubai Marina,+97144309941, www.bristol-middleeast.com El Mundo, Dubai, +971505517406, www.elmundodubai.com Happy Days Sea Cruising LLC, Dubai, +971558961276, +971503960202, www.happydaysdubai.com

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Al Jeer Marina, RAK Border, Musandam +971 7 2682333 or +971 50 4873185 www.aljeerport.ae Dubai International Marine Sports Club, Dubai Marina, +97143995777, www.dimc.ae Dubai Marina Yacht Club, Dubai, +97143627900, www.dubaimarinayachtclub.com Dubai Maritime City Harbour Marina, Dubai, +97143455545 Dubai Offshore Sailing Club, Dubai, +97143941669, www.dosc.ae Emirates Palace Marina, Abu Dhabi, +97143388955 Festival Marina, Dubai, Festival City, +97144498400, www.igy-festivalmarina.com Pavilion Marina, Dubai, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, +97144068800 Umm Al Quwaim Marine Sports Club, Umm Al Quwaim, +9716 766 6644, www.uaqmarineclub.com

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AL YOUSUF MOTORS E-Bike out door ad.ai

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directory

Camping & Hiking LY Catamaran, Dubai, +971505869746, +971566506683 www. lycatamaran.com Marine Concept, Dubai, +971559603030, www.marine-charter-concept.com Noukhada Adventure Company, Villa 332/7, Al Meena Street, Abu Dhabi, +97126503600 , www.noukhada.ae RAK Marine LLC, Ras Al Khaimah City Hilton Marina, +971504912696, +97172066410 Sea Hunters Passenger Yachts & Boats Rental, Dubai Marina, +97142951011 Sheesa Beach, Dibba, Musandam, +971503336046, www.sheesabeach.com Smoke Dragon Of London Yacht, Abu Dhabi International Marine & Sports Club, +971504546661 Summertime Marine, Dubai, +97142573084, www.summertimemarine.com The Club Abu Dhabi, +97126731111 The Yellow Boats LLC, Dubai Marina Walk – opposite Spinneys, Intercontinental Hotel Marina, 8008044 Marinas Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club, Abu Dhabi, Breakwater, +97126815566, www.adimsc.com Abu Dhabi Marina, Abu Dhabi, Tourist Club Area, +97126440300

Equipment Blingmytruck.com, +971505548255, www.blingmytruck.com Picnico, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, +97143941653

Discover the world’s ancient paradise

DHOW CRUISES-DIVE CENTRE-CAMP

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+97143466558, www.barracudadubai. com Services Absolute Adventure, Dubai, +97143459900, www.adventure.ae Adventure HQ, Dubai Times Square Center, Sheikh Zayed Rd, Toll free: 800-ADVENTURE www.adventurehq.ae Al Shaheen Adventure, Abu Dhabi, +97126429995, www.alshaheenme.com Arabia Outdoors, Dubai, +971559556209, www.arabiaoutdoors.com Dorell Sports Management, Dubai World Trade Centre, +97143065061, www.climbingdubai.com E-Sports Dubai, Dubai, www.e-sportsdubai.com The Club, Abu Dhabi, +97126731111, www.the-club.com

Explore

MUSANDAM www.sheesabeach.com Call (+968) 2 683 6551 or (+971) 50 3336 046 info@sheesabeach.com www.sheesabeach.com

Tour Operators Arabia Outdoors, Dubai, +971559556209, www.arabiaoutdoors.com Absolute Adventure, Dubai, +97143459900, www.adventure.ae Libra, +971559228362, www.libra-uae.com Sheesa Beach, Musandam, Dibba, +97150336046, www.sheesabeach.com Desert Road Tourism, Al Khor Plaza – 503, Dubai, +971-42959428, www.arabiatours.com Muscat Diving & Adventure Centre, Oman, +971503289642, www.holiday-in-oman.com

Aloft Abu Dhabi

Tel: +971 (0)2 654 5000

www.aloftabudhabi.com

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Cycling

Equipment Cycle Sports, Dubai, Al Barsha1, +97143415415, www.cyclesportuae.com Probike, Dubai, Al Barsha1, +97143255705, www.probike.ae Rage Shop, Dubai Mall, +97144343806, www.rage-shop.com Ride Bike Shop, Dubai Mall, Festival City, Oasis Centre, Mirdiff City Centre, +97143750231, www.ridebikeshop.com

Climbing

Equipment Global Climbing, +97172353910, www.globalclimbing.com Adventure HQ, Dubai Times Square Center, Sheikh Zayed Rd, Toll free: 800-ADVENTURE www.adventurehq.ae Barracuda Fishing and Outdoor, Dubai, Street 13A 1, Al Safa 1,

www.element-fitness.net Tamreen Sports, Abu Dhabi, +97126222525, www.tamreensports. com VELO & Oxygen, Mushrif Mall, Abu Dhabi+97125566113, www.funridesports.com Wolfi’s Bike Shop, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, +97143394453, www.wbs.ae Clubs Abu Dhabi Tri Club, www.abudhabitriclub.com Dubai Roadsters, www.dubairoadsters.com

Diving

Run Free.

Caving

ADNEC Exhibition Centre Abu Dhabi, P.O. Box 94943

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Experts in • Sports Physiotherapy • Biomechanical Assessment • Orthopaedic and Spinal Treatment • Exercise Rehab Suite 405, Building 49, Dubai Healthcare City P.O.Box 505126 , Dubai, UAE Tel. +971 4 437 0570 – Fax. +971 4 437 0568 info@physiocentre.ae www.phisiocentre.ae

Equipment Al Boom Marine, Abu Dhabi & Dubai+97142894858 , www. alboommarine.com Blue Waters Marine, +97142232189, Dubai, www.bluewatersmarine.com Gulf Marine Sports, Abu Dhabi, +97126710017, www.gulfmarinesports.com Premiers for Equipment, Abu Dhabi, Sh. Zayed 1st. Road, +97126665226, www.premiers-uae.com Diving Centers 7 Seas Diving Center, Khorfakkan, +97192387400, www.7seasdivers.com Al Boom Diving (equipment), Dubai, Al Wasl Rd, + 97143422993, www.alboomdiving.com

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PADI Career Development Centre Jumeirah Beach Hotel P.O. Box 11416, Dubai, UAE Email: divecentre@jumeirah.com Tel: +971 4 406 8828 Web: www.thepaviliondivecentre.com

+97143459900, www.adventure.ae Al Hamra Marina, Al Hamra, +97172434540 Al Mahara Dive Center, Abu Dhabi, Mussafah, +971501118125, +97150720283 www.divemahara.com Al Shaheen Adventure, Abu Dhabi, +97126429995, www.alshaheenme.com Arabian Divers and Sportfishing Charters, Al Bateen Marina Resort, +971506146931, www.fishabudhabi.com Arabia Outdoors, Dubai, +971559556209, www.arabiaoutdoors.com Barracuda Diving Centre, Fujairah International Marine Club, +9719222558 Belevari Marine, Abu Dhabi,+97126594144 Fun Beach Water Sports, Dubai, +97153244550, www.funbeachsports.com Happy Days Sea Cruising LLC, Dubai, +971558961276, +971503960202, www.happydaysdubai.com Noukhada Adventure Company, Villa 332/7, Al Meena Street, Abu Dhabi, +97126503600, www.noukhada.ae Ocean Active, Dubai, Garden Centre, +971502898713, www.oceanactive.com Sheesa Beach, Dibba, Musandam, +971503336046, www.sheesabeach.com Soolyman Sports Fishing, Dubai, Umm Suqeim, +971508866227, www.soolymansportsfishing.com Xclusive Yachts, Dubai, Dubai Marina, +97144327233, www.xclusiveyachts.com

General Sports Equipment Distributors

Email: GetMeOnAPlane@WildGuanabana.com Website: www.WildGuanabana.com Twitter: @WildGuanabana Facebook: www.facebook.com/wildguanabana Tel: 00971 567 954 954

Fishing & Kayaking

Equipment Al Boom Marine, Abu Dhabi & Dubai+97142894858 , www.alboommarine.com Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd, +97143390621, www.aym.ae/yamaha/ Blue Waters Marine, +97142232189, Dubai, www.bluewatersmarine.com Al Masaood Marine, +97143468000, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.masaoodmarine.com Barracuda Fishing and Outdoor, Dubai, Street 13A 1, Al Safa 1, +97143466558, www.barracudadubai.com Global Climbing, Ras Al Khaimah, +97172353910, www.globalclimbing.com Leisure Marine Beach Hut, Dubai, The Walk JBR, +97144243191 Leisure Marine, Sheikh Zayed Road, next to ACE Hardware, +97143415530, www.leisuremarine-me.com Leading Edge-S, +97172447732, www.leadingedge-s.com Nautica1992, Dubai, +971504262415, www.nautica1992.ae Ocean Active, Dubai, Garden Centre, +971502898713, www.oceanactive.com Operators Al Boom Diving, Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, Fujeirah, +97143422993 Absolute Adventure, Dubai,

800 Sport, Al Quoz, Dubai +971 4 346 7751 www.800sport.ae Adventure HQ, Dubai Times Square Center, Sheikh Zayed Rd, Toll free: 800-ADVENTURE, www.adventurehq.ae Flip Flop Arabia, flipme@flipfloparabia. com, www.flipfloparabia.com Global Climbing, +97172353910, www.globalclimbing.com Goal Zero, +971509128353, www.goalzero.ae Ocean Sports FZE, +971559352735, www.kitesurfsup.com Sakeen General Trading, +97147094224, www.sakeen.ae

Dubai - Tel: 04 3390621 | Dubai Auto sport 04 3388822 Abu Dhabi - Tel: 02 5588890 | Abu Dhabi - Buteen - 02 6660591 Sharjah - Tel: 06 5388066 | Ajman -Tel: 06 7410004 Al Ain - Tel: 03 7211444 | Fujairah - Tel: 09 2221188 Ras Al Khaimah - Tel: 07 2351592

Horse Riding

Equipment Emirta, Dubai, Sheik Zayed Rd, +9714 3437475, www.emirtahorse.com Tamreen Sports, Abu Dhabi, +97126222525, www.tamreensports.com Equestrian Centres Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Abu Dhabi, +97124455500, www.adec-web.com Al Forsan Resort, Abu Dhabi, +97125568555, www.alforsan.com Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Dubai, Arabian Ranches, +97143618111, www.poloclubdubai.com Desert Equestrian Club, Dubai, near Mirdif +971503099770, +971501978888 Desert Ranch (Al Sahra Desert Resort), Dubai, +971 4 8327171, www.desert-ranch.com Emirates Equestrian Centre, Dubai, +971505587656, www.emiratesequestriancentre.com Ghantood Polo & Racing Club, Abu Dhabi, +97125629050, www.grpc.ae Sharjah Polo & Equestrian Club, Sharjah, Al Dhaid Road, +97165311155, www.forsanuae.org.ae The Desert Ranch, Dubai, +97144274055 www.desert-ranch.com

Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club Opposite Arabian Ranches P.O.Box 7477, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 361 8111 Fax: +971 4 361 7111 Email: info@poloclubdubai.com www.poloclubdubai.com

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directory

Al Jeer Marina, RAK Border, Musandam +971 7 2682333 or +971 50 4873185 www.aljeerport.ae Al Mahara Dive Center, Downtown Abu Dhabi, +971501118125, www.divemahara.com Arabian Diver, Hilton Marine, Ras Al Khaimah, +97172226628, +971502428128 www.arabiandiver.com Arabian Divers, Al Bateen Marina Resort, +971506146931 Atlantis Dive Centre (equipment), Dubai, The Palm Jumeirah,+97144263000, www.atlantisdivecentre.com Deep Blue Sea Diving, Dubai, International City, +97144308246, www.diveindubai.com Divers Down, Fujairah, Rotana Al Aqah Hotel Resort & Spa, +971092370299, www.diversdown-uae.com Emirates Divers Centre, Abu Dhabi, near Meena Fish Market, +97126432444, www.edc-ad.ae Extra Divers Ziggy Bay, Oman, Musandam, +96826735555, www.extradivers.info Freediving UAE,Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Fujeirah, www.freedivinguae.com Freestyle Divers, Dubai, Al Wasl & Dibba, Royal Beach Hotel, +97143944275, www.freestyledivers.com Khasab Divers, Oman, www.khasabdiver.com

Muscat Diving & Adventure Centre, Oman, +97150 3289642, www.holiday-in-oman.com Neptune Diving, +97150 4347902, www.neptunedivingcentre.com Nomad Ocean Adventures, www. discovernomad.com, +971508853238, Dibba, Oman Scuba Oman, Oman, +96899558488, www.scubaoman.com Sharjah Wanderers Dive Club, Sharjah, +97150 784 0830, www.bsac406.com Sheesa Beach, Dibba, Musandam, +971503336046, www.sheesabeach.com Sky &Sea Adventures, Dubai, Hilton, Jumeirah Beach Road, +97143999005, www.watersportsdubai.com The Pavilion Dive Centre (equipment), Dubai, +97144068828 Clubs Atlantis Underwater Photography Club, Dubai, +97144263000 Desert Sports Diving Club, Dubai, www.desertsportsdivingclub.net

Al Jeer Port, Border of RAK, Musandam, UAE Mob: +971 50 4873185 Tel: +971 7 2682333 kawasaki@liberty.ae

directory

Jet Ski

Dealer Al Masaood Marine, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, +97143468000, www.masaoodmarine.com Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd, +97143390621, www.aym. ae/yamaha/ Rentals Al Mahara Dive Center, Abu Dhabi, Mussafah, +97150720283 , www.divemahara.com Fun Beach Water Sports, Dubai, +971 5 3244 550, www.funbeachsports.com The Cove Rotana Resort, Ras Al Khaimah, +9717206000, www.rotana.com Xventures, Dubai, +971555404500, www.x-ventures.ae

Moto-cross & ATV’s

Dealer Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd, +97143390621, www.aym. ae/yamaha/ KTM, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, exit 42, +9714323151, www.ktm.com PolarisUAE (atv’s), Ras Al Khor, Nad al Hamar Road, Al Ghandi Complex, +97142896100, www.polarisuae.com Liberty Kawasaki, Dubai, Interchange4, Sheikh Zayed Road, 04-3419341, www.libertykawasaki.com Sandstorm, Al Quoz, Dubai

www.aljeerport.ae +9714 3470270 www.sandstorm.ae Seb Sports, Al Quoz Industrial Area 1 Dubai, +9714 3393399 www.sebsports.com Wild X, Dubai, Um Al Ramoul Industrial Area, +97142852200, www. wildx.ae Equipment Desert Road Tourism, Al Khor Plaza – 503, Dubai, +97142959428, www.arabiatours.com 2XWheeler, Motorcity Dubai, +97144548388, www.2xwheeler.com Sandstorm, Al Quoz, Dubai +9714 3470270 www.sandstorm.ae SebSports, Dubai, Al Quoz Industrial Area 3, +97143393399, www.sebsports.com Wild X, Dubai, Um Al Ramoul Industrial Area, +97142852200, www. wildx.ae

Motorcycling

Distributors & Dealers Al Yousuf Motors, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd, www.aym.ae/yamaha/ Duseja Motorcycles, Dubai, Al Quoz, +97143476712, www.apriliauae.com Liberty Kawasaki, Dubai, Interchange4, Sheikh Zayed Road, +97142822144, www.libertykawasaki.com PolarisUAE, Al Ghandi Complex, Nad al Hamar Road, Ras Al Khor, +97142896100, www.polarisuae.com Tristar Motorcycles, +97143330659, www.tristaruae.com Workshop & Services 2xWheeler, +97144548388, www.2xwheeler.com Dune Bike, Dubai, Al Khail Road Alweer, +97143272088, www.dunebuggyuae.com Duseja Motorcycles, Dubai, Al Quoz, +97143476712, www.apriliauae.com Gecko Motors, Dubai, Al Quoz, +97143413550, www.gecko-motors.com

Motorsports

Al Forsan Resort, Abu Dhabi, +97125568555, www.alforsan.com Dubai Autodrome, Dubai, www.dubaiautodrome.com Emirates Motorplex, Umm Al Quwain, +97167681717 Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, www.yasmarinacircuit.com

Off-Road

Manufacturer Blingmytruck.com, +971505548255, www.blingmytruck.com

58

LRC Off Road Engineering, Dubai, +971553198526, www.lrcoffroad.com Repair and services Off Road Zone, Dubai, Al Quoz, +97143392449, www.offroad-zone.com Equipment AEV, Dubai & Abu Dhabi, +97143307152, www.aev.ae Car Max Off Roading Accessories Ras-Al Khor, Al Awir, Dubai, UAE +971 4 3204214 055 8485868 www.4x4dubai.com Icon Auto, Dubai, +97143382744, www.icon-auto.com Saluki Motorsport, Dubai Tel: +971 4 347 6939 www.salukimotorsport.com Wild X Adventure Shop, Dubai, Um AL Ramoul, +971509029800, www.wildx.ae Yellow Hat, Dubai, Times Square Centre & Festival City, +97143418592, www.yellowhat.ae Tour Operator Desert Road Tourism, Al Khor Plaza – 503, Dubai, +971-42959428, www.arabiatours.com Arabian Adventures, Dubai & Abu Dhabi, +97143034888, www.arabian-adventures.com Oasis Palm Dubai, Dubai, +97142628889, www.opdubai.com Clubs Abu Dhabi Off- Road Club, www.ad4x4.com Filipino Off- Road Club, www.forac.ae ME 4X4, www.me4x4.com

Running

Clubs ABRasAC, Dubai, www.abrasac.org Abu Dhabi Tri Club, Abu Dhabi, www. abudhabitriclub.org Mirdiff Milers, Dubai, www.mirdifmilers.com

Stand up Paddling, Kite & Surfing, Wakeboarding

Equipment Al Boom Marine, Abu Dhabi & Dubai+97142894858 , www. alboommarine.com Leisure Marine Beach Hut, Dubai, The Walk JBR, +97144243191 Leisure Marine, Sheikh Zayed Road, next to ACE Hardware, +97143415530, www.leisuremarine-me.com Pearl Water Crafts, Dubai Marina Yacht Club, +971553749398, www.pearl-watercrafts.com Surf Dubai, Dubai, Umm Suqeim, +971505043020, www.surfingdubai.com

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Surf Shop Dubai, Dubai, Al Raha Bldg, Al Barsha 1, +97143990989, www. surfshopdubai.com UAE Kite Surfing, +971505626383, www.ad-kitesurfing.net Distributor Ocean Sports FZE, +971559352735, www.kitesurfsup.com Operator Al Forsan Resort, Abu Dhabi, +97125568555, www.alforsan.com Dubai Kite Surf School, Dubai, Umm Suqeim Beach, +971 504965107, www.dubaikitesurfschool.com Kite Fly, Dubai, +971502547440, www. kitesurf.ae Kite4fun, Abu Dhabi, +971508133134, www.kite4fun.net Nautica1992, Dubai, +971504262415, www.nautica1992.ae Shamalkitesurfing, Umm Suqueim Beach – Dubai, +971507689226, www. shamalkitesurfing.com Sky &Sea Adventures, Dubai, Hilton, Jumeirah Beach Road, +97143999005, www.watersportsdubai.com Surf Adventures UAE, Dubai, Al Barsha1, +97143990989, www.surfadventuresuae.com Surf School Dubai, Umm Suqeim & Al Barsha, Dubai, +97143990989, www. surfschooluae.com Clubs Abu Dhabi Stand Up Paddle www.uaesup.com

Water Parks

Aquaventure Atlantis, Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, +97144260000, www.atlantisthepalm.ae Dreamland Aqua Park, Umm Al Quwaim, Emirates Road, +97167681888, www.dreamlanduae.com Wild Wadi, Dubai, +97143484444, www.wildwadi.com

Other leisure activities

Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Abu Dhabi, + 97125588990, www.adgolfclub.com Dolphin Bay Atlantis Dubai, +97144260000, www.atlantisthepalm.ae Dubai Dolphinarium Dubai, Creek Park Gate No. 1, +97143369773, www.dubaidolphinarium.ae Ifly Dubai, Dubai, Mirdiff City Centre, +97142316292, www.iflyme.com Sadiyaat Beach Club, Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, +97125578000, www. sbgolfclub.ae Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club, Sharjah, +97143999005, www.golfandshootingshj.com SkiDubai, Dubai, Mall of The Emirates, +97144094000, www.skidxb.com Spacewalk Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, +97124463653, www.spacewalk.ae

Health, Safety & Training

Safety Lessons Marine Concept Yacht Charter & Sea School, Rania Business Centre, Dubai, +971559603030, www.marine-charter-concept.com Safety & Leisure Training Middle East, Dusseldorf Business Point, Al Barsha 1, Dubai, +97144502418, www. sltme.com Sport & Health Centres The Physio Center, Suite 405, Building 49, Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai, +97144370570, www.physiocentre.ae

To advertise please e-mail: contact@outdooruae.com or call: 04 4502419

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OutdoorUAE - March 2012