Starting my Friday standing at a petrol station in Tecom at 7.30am was not exactly what I had in mind after a very busy week at work. But taking every opportunity to explore this city and country is very important so when the alarm went off at an unearthly hour, we were up and out the door.
The activity for the day....kayaking! Yeh I know I am not really a watersports kinda of girl, but a little road trip across the country and the thought of learning a new skill was enough to let me leave all my cares behind. We started early because we were heading to the other side of the country, Ras Al Khaimah to be precise to a place called Barasti Sailing Club in Al Jeer, right on the border with Oman.
It's a fantastic place down there which is going to get even better in the coming weeks as they add more facilities. We were invited down by our friends sister, who is a very clever lady, a marine biologist to be precise, to have a little kayaking lesson and meet some of the creatures that call this place their home.
I am not going to lie, driving through what seemed to be the middle of nowhere, in convoy with three other cars, not exactly knowing where we going, we were a little dubious about our final destination.
Set just on the Oman border, with the mountains on one side and the sea on the other, this place is peaceful, low key and stark contrast to the hustle and bustle and high-rise city we left behind. And it was perfect. To be out of the city for the first time in 3 months was just what we needed and despite the long drive, it was worth it.
Bobbing around in a kayak has never been my idea of a fun morning and I am not the typical sporty type so I was rather hesitant about jumping into a solo kayak and had visions of me capsizing within a few moments. But I took to it like a duck to water and got the hang of it after a few minutes. And dare I say it, I enjoyed it! We stayed within the confines of the marina and didnt head out into the sea, mainly because out of the group 12 of us, several were not confident with their abilities. But it was a great morning and I definitely think my body received a much needed workout.
I will reluctantly admit that I was wrong about kayaking. Being outside and taking full advantage of the opportunities this place gives us was great. These are the moments when being an expat pays of; spending your Friday morning out in the sunshine, doing new activities with new friends makes up for the sacrifices. Oh and speaking of new friends, we made one. Meet clyde, the bearded dragon.