We make our leave of Atlantis and the monorail on the Palm Jumeriah. There are damn topes everywhere! What is this, Mexico?! We pass by a number of barges bringing loads of rocks out to the new island they’re building that’s a replica of the World.
We drive back down the palm trunk and out to the regular streets of Dubai. This place feels very much like Las Vegas, but with more mosques. We pass by the Burj Al Arab, the third largest building in Dubai that’s in the shape of a sail. Amazing structure. It also sits on a man-made island. Andre Agassi and Roger Federer played tennis on that helipad one time.
Time for a cool beverage to fight the heat. We stop at a drive through Starbucks. I get a mango black tea lemonade. Numz!
There’s a crazy expensive looking yellow Bentley beside us with V1 plates. “What does that mean, V1 plates?”, “Must be a sheikh or royal family. Status is shown by the letter on your plates. No one can have A1 outside of royalty. This may be one of the sheikh’s girls” …interesting.
Michaela says she’s teaching a course on endangered animals at a local school here. A royal family princess is in her class.
Michaela does a princess voice, “Oh we have some of those on our farm. White Lions and chimpanzees too.” Holy shit. That’s an illegal zoo sweety, not a family farm.
We pull into a fancy beach resort by the turquoise water in the Gulf of Persia, called La Mer. Michaela says this place is super busy at other times of the year. You usually can’t even get parking. “You probably shouldn’t come to Dubai at the hottest and dustiest time of year”, “Yet here we are, at the beach!” We park underground right by the escalator, the place is completely empty because we’re there only ones dumb enough to do this in the heat of summer. We get out and again, all of our sunglasses fog up immediately. Holy humid. Instant sweat happening.
We walk down to the beach La Mer. The waterfront is a wooded, trendy boardwalk. It looks brand new. Bars, restaurants and shops with fresh painted murals on the sides of them. It looks good. Probably a happening spot when the weather is right
We get down to the beach and there actually are a handful of other people here. There is a sign that has an interesting courtesy policy about covering up and no overt displays of affection.
We go set up shop on the beach. Looks like we can put our shit wherever we want. Oh no we can’t. The lifeguard tells us to back it up. Up here? Yes. Ok… That’s only 10 feet back, but whatever.
The water is like a warm bath and super salty. It’s so damn hot out it’s ridiculous. Yeah, this really is the stupidest idea ever. But the water does kind of help even though it’s warm too. You can float super easy from the salt. And most importantly, we can say we swam in the Persian Gulf now (aka the Arabian Gulf) so on some level, mission accomplished!
We stay in the water for a bit, trying to teach Kelvin how to lay still and float. But when we get out the consensus is that we’re already over the beach and the heat. “Anyone wanna grab a beer. Anywhere with AC?”, “Yes, the closest beer”, “Yes beer.”
We go back to the car to move it closer to the beer escalator. Then we won’t have to walk back here to get it and risk melting. That’s how hot it is. 47 celcius, feels like 55 with 40% humidity. Just gonna need a minute in the car AC. For real.
We go to a place by the beach called Stars and Bars. Ahhhhhh yes air conditioning and ice cold beer. This is probably the best Heineken I’ve ever had. This place has a California surfing vibe to it. Kind of funny since we live there. Food going by looks good. AC though… you win.
We post up at the bar and pound Heinekens like we’re making a commercial. Kelvin is stealing dehydrated pineapples from a jar haha. Oh, they’re good. Concentrated pineapple taste.
While I’m sitting here I connect to their WiFi. Oh sweet! Our buddy Waldo has just sent us an email with a detailed, personalized Joburg travel guide. Wow, that’s awesome! He’s gonna pick us up at the airport when we fly into South Africa in a couple of days. We met Waldo on the Mongol Rally. They didn’t have as much time as us for the trip, so they blitzed it across the north through the Ukraine and Russia, down into Mongolia in 3-4 weeks. I guess we probably haven’t seen him since the Czech-out party (the best party I’ve ever been to, but that’s a story for another time). Waldo lives in Johannesburg so I hit him up before the trip. Can’t wait to catch up! He’ll also have some priceless local knowledge I’m sure.
I tune back in to the group and Michaela is talking about how the manager at the Belgium bar they go to a lot always flirts with guests but skips over them. She’ll talk to all the men around the bar but then skip right over her and Kelvin. “Is she hot?”, “She’s tall and smiles a lot”, “That doesn’t mean she’s hot, Kelvin”, “You want my honest opinion. 60%”, “She’s a 20% with that attitude”, “Peter will like her”, “No he won’t”, “I think I know my brothers taste in women. He won’t like her”, “Well now I’m intrigued”, “Let’s watch the world cup semis there!”
We grab a couple more of the best Heinekens ever. Grabbing a beer was a good idea. That heat is crazy. It’s draining. They have a few decent beers here but this tasteless easy drinker is perfect right now. We’ve cooled down and are feeling pretty relaxed now.
We pay up and go back out into the heat. Sunglasses all fog up the instant we get outside. Arms start glistening with sweat immediately. Feel it rolling down my back. The car isn’t even a 2 minute walk.
I’m sure La Mer is a killer beach when the weather is better. Lots of white sand, warm water, a water park, tons of seating areas and a good selection of restaurants and bars. It’d be fun to get back here and catch it when there’s more action.
We escape to the Rav4 AC and make our way back to the apartment. On the drive I show Kelvin the video I took from earlier of Peter and Michaela unwrapping Filipino sausages for breakfast. “Hahahaha, It’s like a dick” we all lose it, cackling in the car. Hearing that so matter of fact in his raspy Nigerian accent, holy shit that’s funny.
Back to the pad for shower #2 of the day. Wash the sweat and Persian Gulf salt off. Get another mixed meze plate too. Time to head out for some Dune Bashing!