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Old 13th December 2008, 02:45   #1
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Default Photologs of Mountains & Wadis in UAE

This is a photolog of three separate off road trips made during Sep/Oct and Dec 2008.

The first one was a trip made on 30 Sep & 01 Oct 2008 from Dubai/Sharjah to Dibba in Oman which there was a quite a bit of road travel, quite a bit of generally easy off-roading and a bit of tough terrain in the Al Hajer mountains and Camping overnight up the mountains.

The Party: 8 families in 6 cars - 1 Ford Explorer, 1 Honda CRV, 1 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 1 Mitsubishi Pajero, 1 Toyota Landcruiser Prado and 1 Toyota Landcruiser.

The Route: Dubai/Sharjah - Wadi Tayyebah - Dibba (Oman) and back to Sharjah/Dubai. Total distance approx 350kms both ways.

Now the pictures: (Majority of pictures courtesy AN and a few by me)

Through Wadi Tayyibeh (Wadi: means River bed - usually dry and rocky; can be filled very very quickly with water during rains that could cause flash flooding)
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Private farm:
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a narrow section:
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a brief stop to appreciate the raw nature:
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the route up the Hajer mountains:
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Upon reaching the top of mountains, we finalized on the camping site. This camping site was located down between mountains and the short drive from the dirt track was extremely steep with loose rocks, gravel and silt. The drive down was very tricky. First attempt was by the Prado who made two mistakes - a wrong approach angle, followed by dead braking leading to locking of the wheels and skidding to one side where the Prado was stopped by a boulder stuck between the front and rear wheels.
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After about 45minutes, the vehicle was finally moved by jacking the vehicle and removing the stone boulder.

All other vehicles strictly followed the regime - 1st gear at Low and nil (or very little) braking. The Honda-CRV was left at the top.

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As you would imagine, we had a lot of fun overnight.

When we were preparing to leave the next morning (01st Oct), we realized that it is going to be another ordeal taking out all the cars back to the dirt track from down under.
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A Hyundai Galloper driven by another camper nearby was seriously struggling to beat the terrain. Lots of help by us and other campers and several attempts later, the Hyundai managed to gallop across to the top.
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Fortunately, everyone among us once again followed the regime - 1st gear at Low, just the right push on the pedals and no braking. Managed to get out without a great deal of fuss. The Jeep's low gear transfer case was not engaging and it did have a bit of trouble; but somehow managed to get out on its own after a couple of attempts.

The Ford Explorer driving up
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Even though it was October, it was pretty hot in the morning and we had to make a quick return back to the comforts of our homes.

Will continue....

Last edited by -GT- : 13th December 2008 at 02:50.
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Old 13th December 2008, 06:05   #2
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Nice and entertaining picture thread.
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Old 13th December 2008, 07:09   #3
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awesome pictures

what is wrong with explorer front grill?

Last edited by Latheesh : 13th December 2008 at 07:10.
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Old 13th December 2008, 13:08   #4
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Nice pics... looks interesting

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Old 13th December 2008, 14:58   #5
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Thank you Sudev sir.

Originally Posted by Latheesh View Post
awesome pictures: what is wrong with explorer front grill?
Thanks Latheesh. There is nothing wrong wit the explorer grill - It is either a distortion due to downsizing the image or the reflection of the sun (or both)
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Old 13th December 2008, 15:13   #6
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That's so good. Would love to be part of something like this anyday.
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Old 13th December 2008, 15:25   #7
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Default Part 2

Having had good fun on the previous trip, we were looking forward for another. We had some really long nice holidays due to the UAE National Day (02nd Dec) combined with the Friday/Saturday weekends and then another stretch of holidays for the Eid.

The weather conditions were pretty unpredictable with sudden bursts of rains in the UAE and the met department warning people not to venture into wadis (river beds) or camping close to wadis due to the possibility of flash floods. The mountain dirt tracks can also become pretty messy with landslides and slippery silt surfaces. We took a general poll and the majority of people preferred to drop the idea of camping and instead take day long trips.

Trip #2: We poured over the "UAE Off-Road Explorer" a book considered to be the best in this area that has quite a few routes with clear directions and GPS coordinates. We picked out a combination of two routes that went like this: Dubai/Sharjah - Wadi Asimeh - Wadi Sidr Sana - up the mountains gradually until the top - steep downward track back to Tarmac between Masafi and Fujairah - Return

We decided to make this trip on Friday 05th December 2008.
The Party: 4 familes in 3 vehicles - 2 Mitsubishi Pajero's and 1 Toyota Landcruiser.

With the weather predictions and warnings, we were a bit apprehensive driving through the wadi's, but fortunately the sky was clear.

Enroute to Wadi Asimeh:
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We kept on this track until we reached an Oasis in the Wadi Asimeh. We wanted to do some serious off-roading driving through this section; went on a recon mission to check out what was in store further down. There was a small dam like structure built across the stream and the only way would be to go around this structure. This path was way too narrow for wide bodied vehicles like ours. Instead of driving through, we decided to picnic at this location.

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An UAE National with his family and his trusted Landcruiser BJ70
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Took some pictures of the LC's articulation:
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After a good couple of hours, we turned back a few kilometres and proceeded towards Wadi Sidr-Sana. The entire wadi stretch and the dam was bone dry.
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Went going up the mountains passing through a couple of villages
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Near the Plateau
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On the top of Hajar mountains
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View from the top - can see the Arabian Sea off Dibba-Oman
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Mitsubishi Twins:
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Way back down the steep winding track (all were busy driving carefully to take any more pictures)
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Will Continue...
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Old 13th December 2008, 18:57   #8
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Default Part 3

Thanks Salik and Mukesh.

Now to the last part -
After the enjoyable trip of the 05th Dec, we wanted to make one more on 07th Dec to best utilize the Eid holidays break. This time we decided to do the tried and tested, very much in the usual tourist itinerary of Hatta Wadi/Pools off about 140kms from Dubai.

The Party: 7 families in 5 vehicles - 3 Mitsubishi Pajero's, 1 Nissan Pathfinder and 1 Toyota Landcruiser.

The route involves about 100kms of on-road + 40kms of easy off-road + small segments of tough to extreme terrains (optional since these can be walked if people are unwilling to drive through)

Started from Dubai at about 11.00 AM and reached Hatta at about 1.00 PM with a fuel / snacks break in between.
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We decided to set up the picnic spot near the pools - this is a half a kilometre trek down with the chairs, mats, food, cooler box, etc., etc.

One of my friends suggested that we take two vehicles through "what appeared to be a path", ferrying all the material stuff while the families walk down. Talk of a bit of real off-roading and I readily agreed that he in his Pajero and me in my LC will do just that.

Mistake #1 - did not do a recon of the 'path'. What appeared to be a reasonably OK looking path from the top is simply not driveable.

I proceeded down on 1Low on the steep gravely track until the first U bend. One of my friend was guiding me from the ground. As soon as I turned the bend, the front right wheel dipped into a huge crater. I could feel the rear left wheel coming off the ground. My friend immediately waved his hand to stop me and then said that the under body is just inches from hitting the ground. My friend in his Pajero behind me was honking madly seeing the rear left wheel off the ground by about 2 feet.

I put the gear on reverse and gave a gentle push on the pedal; the rear differential was doing its job i.e. transferred the power to the loose wheel making it spin in the air with no power available to the right rear wheel. I switched on the rear diff lock and tried again. Guess what, the vehicle moved back effortlessly. My respect to my LC grew many folds. I unlocked the rear diff lock and put the vehicle on hand brake and got down to survey.

The Pajero was stuck just at the top on an incline. We decided that it is better reversing back to the dirt track. The incline was steep with loose gravel and the Pajero struggled to beat the terrain. After about 15 minutes, the Pajero managed to get out. The LC reversed all the way back effortlessly.

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Now some pictures of the Hatta area:
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Spent some 3 hours by the pools and decided to explore a bit further down to 'Ray' and surrounding villages.

On the way to Ray pools
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The sun was setting quite quickly and we decided to drive back and return home. Final pose before the return back
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Old 13th December 2008, 21:00   #9
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Nice thread. Good to see SUV's being put to the right use.
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Old 13th December 2008, 21:13   #10
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If wishes were horses I would have been there right now enjoying the trails..lovely.
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Old 18th December 2008, 09:32   #11
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Fantastic -GT- Wonder how I missed this thread. Brings back fond memories of similar trips family and friends used to back during the years I was there.

Thanks for sharing
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Old 18th December 2008, 09:47   #12
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Nice pics, and good to see you people using your 4x4s for the purpose they were built.

I am jealous.
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