Unexpected pothole

When I started writing this blogg I wrote that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, what I never thought of at the time was that sometimes the road one travels hits unexpected potholes and that what initially looked like a simple journey can change in an instant …

This is what happened to us, we have hit an unexpected pothole which has resulted in us having to make some hard decisions, things haven’t worked out here as planned and we will be leaving Qatar in January. We aren’t to sure were our next adventure is going to be, we have some possible options that we are considering elsewhere but nothing has been decided yet and who knows if they are going to be the right ones. When one hits a pothole, you usually stop, assess the damage and decide what course of action to take, do you carry on with the journey or do you turn around and go back in the direction you came from ?…I suppose you never know when you set out on a new journey what it is going to be like, I could carry on and be philosophical but those of you who know me well, will also know that I have had a few knocks in life and generally look on the bright side of life and try and never let things get me down (well not for very long, although I must admit I have been wallowing in my own self pity for the last few weeks) but from today no longer !!!

 So what have we been up too since I last wrote quite a few weeks ago…

 We spent an enjoyable afternoon with friends at the camel races. Experienced all the excitement of Qatar winning the 2022 Football World Cup, have spent some enjoyable times at the Souk Waqif (market) were I tried smoking a hubbly bubbly and also watched the National Day parade with a 19 minute fireworks display…

I will start with the camel racing. We had no idea what to expect when we were invited by friends to join them one Saturday afternoon at the races. It is not at all like horse racing, I was expecting little people dressed as jockeys, which I must admit I had my reservations about the cruelty aspect (I am not a huge fan of horse racing for the same reason).There were no ‘little jockeys’ in sight only little robots dressed like jockeys on top of the camels holding tiny whips controlled by radio control.

Camels with robots

The owners of the camels drive in white 4×4 vehicles (they are always white not sure why) on a road next to the race track controlling the robots. Spectators (also white 4×4’s !!!) drive next to the race on the other side of the track.

 There is a bus that drives around the track for spectators, one thing I haven’t written about yet is how crazy the drivers are here, apparently it is the same in Dubai and the whole of the Middle East, and you feel as if you are putting your life at risk every time you venture out in a car…which is probablly why there is a bus for people like me.

We jumped into a white bus which was waiting to set off, only to discover a few minutes later when we were 400m down the road that this wasn’t the official bus but somebody’s private vehicle – they didn’t seem to mind even though we were 5 adults and 2 children!! It was great fun going around the track this way as they had the commentary in Arabic on the car radio which added to the excitement. A few races later we ventured out on our own with my friend D diving alongside the spectators, he has lived here for 3 years so drives the same way they do..which made it an exciting experience , how no-one had an accident I still can’t believe. It was a great experience and a fun day out.

Start of the race check how the trainers are running out of the way
View from the bus
more photos of the start
Another view of camels from the bus


and more camels