To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries
- Aldous Huxley

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Dubai Day 3 - Watersports and sharks


I woke up with a sore throat and cursed God, Allah, sand, heat and everything else for getting a sore throat where it’s too damn hot for germs to live.  Also it was a day for Scuba Diving, nothing would stop me.
We got ready and headed to Atlantis, the Palm. The amazingly huge and probably out-of-my-price range expensive hotel with also has a waterpark attached to it. We drove past the hotel and on to Al-boom diving where we were given the introduction to what we’re doing, how many Sharks and all the usual stuff for diving. Suited up and took a golf cart to the water park where the Aquarium is.
The water was refreshingly cool and horribly salty. I, as usual, was underweighted but eventually managed to descend enough to hit the bottom. The Aquaventure aquarium isn’t the biggest aquarium going around, and it’s depth is about 6.4m at it’s lowest point but it has 8 different types of sharks, lots of different rays and lots of fish, including an annoying one that is apparently eating the concrete (guess he needs to toughen up). I had my GoPro ready and finally got to use my underwater camera without it stuffing up on me. I would say the video is awesome but somehow I managed to delete it. But it did take 17000 photos, so that’s going to be fun to go through.


The dive lasted 30 -35 minutes and it was amazing fun, it was good to get back into it and see all the different sharks and interact with the other marine life. After we finished the dive, we headed back to the dive center (and a brief stop to see what 40-degree heated beach water feels like) and took a shuttle to the Aquaventure park.

Spotted Eagle Ray

This park is amazing. It’s huge and has a lot of different slides and rapids and you can go single or with a partner in a tube. It also has a giant slide where you can go up to 100km/h. More on that in a sec.
The great part of going at this time of year is that, although it is insanely hot, it wasn’t busy and they have attendants everywhere who help you out. Within 10 minutes we’d gone through 3 rides, compare that to Wet N Wild and you’d be lucky to be halfway through the line on the first ride in 10 minutes.
Danielle chickened out on the giant slide, but I didn’t. The line wasn’t too bad and I didn’t know what to expect but it is crazy. I have it on video, so I will upload it. But it’s so hard to explain what the feeling was like, and the view was amazing. I also happened to lose my hat halfway through that ride.
Aquaventure is fairly expensive, but it is definitely worth it. It’s incredibly fun and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

He wanted to be left alone. I wouldn't until he posed. A stand off ensued.

Despite all the fun I’d had, I was still sick and the headache started to hit me then, as well as a sore throat and the hot weather, we took a taxi for the Emirates Mall and then the Dubai Mall.
Man-o-man, both of these Malls put any shopping center I’ve been to, to shame. Like everything in Dubai, they are huge. There would be over 1000 shops easily and you’ll get a good workout. They’re both 3 levels high and about 4 billion kilometers long.  We walked so much we’d put Moses to shame, it was long but there is a lot to do. Dubai Mall is smart about how it is set up. They have an area for all their electronic stores, and an area for fashion. It saves a lot of time if you ever go for one specific reason. Emirates is all over the place like any other Shopping Center, but both are amazing.
Also, ladies (if any of you actually read this), if you go, leave your man in a good spot, not in the lingerie section of H&M scratching himself and staring at a mannequin wearing a g-string.

Isn't he cute?

After the long long walks and the ever-increasing headache, we ate at Outback Streakhouse, the most Aussie restaurant in the world, and took the train back to our hotel.

A thing about public transport in Dubai, it’s incredible. The trains are driverless yet always arrive on time and every 10 minutes, spacious, and quick. They don’t have trams to block roads and even the bus shelters have air-conditioning. Our bus shelters get their airflow from smashed windows by drunken morons.

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