About a funny different world like living in a virtual reality world, the United Arab Emirates.

We made it. We are out of Iran. But differently than we thought. The journey did not go by bicycle to Pakistan but by plane to the United Arab Emirates, to Dubai. We landed in Dubai and got the visa simply by stamp in the passport. Friendly smiling people, everywhere. This will remain so over our entire time in this country. Wonderful. People not only say “welcome”, we also feel welcome.

Riding a bicycle is a bit difficult, because we are prevented from moving forward by 6-8 bulky highways. No matter, after a few days we head towards Oman, to Al Ain. Klaus did not feel so good in Dubai, pain in the chest. Nevertheless, we start our journey into the desert and after about 25km on highways we reach the Al Quadra Cycling Track.

Boah, a cycling track ONLY for cyclists through the desert. A track of more than 80km. No shady trees, no water supply. But instead desert, desert, desert and…. silence. About every 25 km there is a small shelter with benches, which at least offers shade during the midday heat.
For the first time I feel like in a video game. It is like cycling in a VR game. A virtual reality which is a real reality. Klaus is tired, but also so fascinated by this world that the enthusiasm covers his difficulties a little. We sleep that night under the open sky in the middle of the desert.
The next day we get back to a normal road and so we can soon fill up our water supplies.

Reaching Al Ain, the Garden City

Day 3, 20km before Al Ain. Klaus feels bad. We stop a pickup truck, which takes us to the city. A few days rest and we want to continue. But it comes differently. Klaus has an appointment for a checkup and the same evening he is taken to a hospital in an ambulance. Suspicion of a heart attack.

Next day, some more checkups. And besides Corona Positive (I am no longer allowed to visit him) he now has 2 stents in his heart.

I felt a little lonely

All this meant no efforts for now. After short effects and confusion we decide to stay longer here in Al Ain. This place was the best place for Klaus to recover for the first days. The medical care is perfect. We will go to Oman a little later. Klaus will travel to the capital to Muscat by bus, I will probably make the tour by bicycle. Through a Warmshowers contact we have found an accommodation in Muscat in which we can stay super cheap for 6 weeks, before it goes on again. Where to? Open. But then Klaus heart should work again perfectly so that we can continue our travel.

Waiting for Klaus to come out of the hospital

Here in Al Ain we were really happy. We stayed with two very nice young women, we visited various oases and forts and a Desert Learning Center.

Just some different impressions from Al Ain and the surrounding:

No Millennium-old culture

There is not this millennium-old culture here and even if there is still much to do in women’s rights, for workers from abroad and of course for cyclists, here is invested incredibly much money in and for the people.
It remains for me a world in which I could not feel at home. Too clean, life takes place exclusively indoors, people on the street are rarely found, except of course in their cars (I wonder if evolution will eventually revolutionize feet and legs away). Hardly anyone goes shopping themselves. A social life outside closed rooms does not take place. And the pedestrian ways pretty often end up in the sand 🙂

Pedestrian Path way ends in the desert sand

And all this reminds even more of a virtual reality. Clean streets, no advertising posters, no music, no children’s laughter, no smells of various delicacies. Crazy world. Exciting, but I’m glad when we will leave.

But of course we are so grateful that we were able to spend the time in the United Arab Emirates, when Klaus was not well. Unexciting, relaxing and with all these so friendly people.

Wir sehen uns 🙂 Es geht weiter!
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