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Re: [RC] Argentina to Dubai, getting settled in - Cidinha

Hello Steph,

Could you send me some photos of Endurance Village?

Thanks a lot for your words... they are helping very much the Brazilian

Take care and hope to see you soon.

Cidinha Franzão

----- Original Message -----
From: "Stephanie Teeter" <stephteeter@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 12:00 PM
Subject: [RC] Argentina to Dubai, getting settled in

Back in Dubai... so much is familiar.  I'm getting around pretty good now
with a rental car, am pretty secure with the path from the hotel to the
Endurance City, found a gas station today. And things are pretty much
settled down from the first flurry of arrivals.   To back up a little -

John and I arrived in Argentina Jan 4, were picked up at the airport by
Eduardo and Mercedes, and taken to their farm/ranch in the country outside
of Buenos Aires. (our 'home' for this winter). We got settled in amid the
fast pace of making plans for Dubai. Mercedes is riding, her horse is RAS
Kasal, Eduardo is the Argentine Chef d' Equipe. Jan 6 the horses were loaded
and sent to the airport to be shipped to Dubai that night. Jan 7 15 members
of the Argentine squad and support group left BA for Dubai. I flew with this
group (earlier than anticipated due to an error on flight dates)  - not
quite sure what/where I'd be once I got there. A stroke of bad luck for one
of the riders - she had lost her passport and couldn't get on the plane -
left an opening for me at a Dubai hotel that was reserved for 6 of the
group. The others would be staying at the Endurance City - 2 in the Bab al
Sham hotel, and 6 in the Chalets (dorms) that were built for riders as part
of the original Endur
 ance Village.

So, a long plane trip (12 hour flight time from BA to Paris and then
another 8 from Paris to Dubai) and we arrived in Dubai some time after
midnight. We were met by representatives of the OC, who helped us get
through passport check, and arranged transport to the various hotels. Lots
of waiting, wondering, waiting, wondering - but the hosts were very friendly
and helpful and we were finally loaded into shuttles. The group that went to
the Endurance City had an additional hour or two of adventure when the
driver couldn't find the EC. (the road to the city is still being built -
but godwilling everything will be finished in time). Our group (3 women, 3
men) went directly to the hotel, but upon arrival all of the smiles,
anticipation, excitement began to deflate, reaching 0 psi by the time we got
to bed. The hotel reservation was made through a travel agency, a 'modest
priced' hotel was requested, and in good faith fullly booked for 2 1/2
weeks, until the 23rd, at which time eve
 rybody would be housed by the WEC OC at the Dubai Dusit h
otel (a very nice one).

Our hotel, the Rush Inn Budget Hotel, is right on the main street, in the
center of Bur Dubai - a major commercial center, and primarily
Indian/Pakistani residence. I actually like the area a lot, especially once
you get off the main streets, lots of little shops, great smelling food,
almost entirely Indian population - so in this sense, it's a good adventure.
I'm writing this from a little Internet shop off of a little street, filled
with men speaking a language I can't understand, (hard enough learning
Spanish). So the only real problem is the hotel - it's just a low budget
place, no hot showers (warm at best), pretty dirty and dark, kind of dismal.
Three of us in one room the size of three single beds, and not much more.
There's a boy's Crickett team from Bahrain staying there too, so the noise
level in the morning is quite astounding. They're cut though - little guys
in red uniforms and caps. Excited little boys.  And at night the music from
the bar downstairs gets a litt
 le loud. But, enough whining...

The Argentine horses arrived in good shape, all travelled well. A little
mixup after they arrived resulted in no food for the first couple days (they
borrowed from the Chileans next door). Most of the Argentines speak little,
if any, English - and combined with local staff that speaks little, if any,
English - communication can be poor. But finally after calls and persistance
Eduardo (who speaks very good English) managed to get the hay and grain
delivered, and all were finally content. They rested the horses for the
first few days, just handwalking or light riding within the stable area, and
today rode out for the first time - an easy ride to stretch the horses out
and see how they felt. Trot-outs in hand after they got back and all was

I've seen a few others since arriving - the Canadians, looking happy
(except for some lost luggage) and their horses arrived in good shape. It's
a long haul. I met a couple of the Japanese riders - Hasume who did his
qualification ride at the Owyhee 100 - it was nice to see him - and his
crew/friend and wife again. They are VERY happy to be here. I met with
Pierre Cazes (France) - he's going to give me some info and photos when he
can, and the Malaysian chef, who will give me some names and detail tomorrow
at lunch. (Everybody meets at the the Chalet lunch room for lunch, nice
food, relaxed atmosphere, hungry people). I saw Luke Leisens today
(Leonard's son who travelled with Orfeo) - he looked happy and excited too.
Luke and I were Leonard's crew in Dubai at the '98 WEC. Pretty amazing to be
back 6 years later. I've seen others here, but haven't had time to connect.
Should have more time now that everybody is getting themselves and their
horses .

That's about if for now - I'm checking email at least once a day, so if
you have questions or messages for anybody, send them along!

It's getting dark here now, and the streets are coming alive. I'm off to
buy a hair dryer at one of the little electronics/gadgets shops to replace
the one I blew up last night... some things don't change :)



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[RC] Argentina to Dubai, getting settled in, Stephanie Teeter