Been thinking and dreaming about this trip since early this year and finally it came true. By the way, let it be known that the following thoughts and opinions are my own and based from my experience. It is not my intention to discredit any advertisement about such adventure.
I’ve been searching the net the past couple of months for this adventure and I found out that this trip cost a lot. Also, 99% of the trip starts in Dubai so if you want to be fetched from Abu Dhabi then you have to pay extra which would make it even more expensive. Then one day, I found a discounted price for the trip and the pickup place is in Abu Dhabi. I was so overjoyed. My husband and I were so excited we even bought our own masks and snorkel sets (for hygienic purposes ;-) ) to see those colorful fishes. This will be the highlight of our Eid holiday, we said to ourselves.
The night before our trip, our flat mate told us his experience. You can say that he was one unsatisfied customer. He also suggested that we bring our own food as the food on board is not that delectable. We followed his advice and brought a couple of sandwiches and junk foods the day after. Thankfully we did because the trip did not go as planned. In fact, it was 1 hour delayed.
Right from the start, we were already late. The ride to Dubai was supposed to commence at 6:30 AM but it was almost 7:00 AM when we left the assembly area. A few minutes after leaving the city, we made a pit stop because everybody was already hungry and wanted to go to the washroom. We stayed there for 15 – 20 minutes. Our next stop was in Mall of Emirates (time check – 9:00 AM). We wanted to pee but the driver did not allow us to go down the bus because we’re already late (45 minutes late to be exact). So you’ll definitely understand when I say that the next couple of hours were a nightmare :-D – I tried so hard to sleep and forget that I so wanna pee. Two hours after our departure from MOE, the bus driver finally made a stop and I was out of the bus before the driver can even say “PIT STOP” LOL. An hour later, we finally reached the border of UAE/OMAN.
Upon arriving at the border, there was another delay – They couldn’t find the list of our names. The Military man was coming and going with different list and was calling out names while we were staring and blinking our eyes wondering “WTH?!”. After sorting out the papers, they finally managed to get the correct list. We were then allowed to pass by the border and FINALLY, we arrived! Can hardly wait to get out of the bus and smell the sea breeze.
The cruise began. They ushered us to the dhow and after a minute or two, we left the harbor. It was a 30 – 45 minutes dhow ride before we reached our destination. We anchored and they offered to bring us to the shore. I looked at the water. It was greenish-brownish in color. That was not what I have expected. I told my husband we better check out the shore. They brought us to the shore and the water was even worst. It was brownish and the floor felt too slimy. YUCK! How on earth are we going to snorkel in this kind of water? Take us back to the dhow, I told the boatman. I ended up swimming near the dhow for probably around 5 minutes.
By that time, I was already very disappointed. I expected a beautiful clear blue sea, colorful fishes and the best time of my UAE life BUT they failed to deliver. Instead, the place reminded me of the time when we went to a river rafting adventure in Davao years ago – the water looked exactly the same LOL – although we had the grandest time swimming in that brownish water :D. Anyhow, after changing into my dry clothes, I waited for lunch.
I wasn’t expecting a lot for our lunch since we were already forewarned of what it might be. Despite that knowledge, I was still shocked beyond belief of what they have offered us. A grilled chicken that doesn’t looked like it even touched the grill pan, chicken sausages that were cut in tiny bits which I at first thought was dog food :D (sorry for the comparison), macaroni pasta which looked normal to me, coleslaw that seems to have more cabbages than mayonnaise, the normal looking veggie salad and lastly the Arabic bread. The worst part of it though was not the food but the way our co-tourists acted. The moment they saw the food, they started to get rough and acted as if they haven’t been fed for the last 3 days! After lunch, which by the way happened at around 3:00 – 3:30 PM, the trip became a blur. All I wanted was for us to go back to the harbor and go home to Abu Dhabi.
SO, was all these troubles worth it? DEFINITELY NOT!
First of all, the bus ride itself was too long and then when you reached your destination, there was nothing grand about the sea/place and there’s not much to expect for lunch. They said you can snorkel and see the colorful fishes BUT even that was impossible. Over-all, the trip was a MAJOR LETDOWN. Nonetheless, I’m still glad we tried it. At least I learned my lesson in the hard way that is ;-). They often say that curiosity kills the cat… I’ll probably be dead by now if I was the cat hahahahaha.