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Home || Photos || Merri's Stories || Linda's Log

Linda Tanian's Stories: Linda: Day 2, Part 1 || Linda: Day 2, Part 2 || Linda: Day 3, Part 1
Linda: Day 4, Part 1 || Linda: Day 4, Part 2 || Linda: Day 5
Linda: Day 6, Part 1 || Linda: Day 6, Part 2 || Linda: Day 6, Part 3
Linda: Day 7, Part 1 || Linda: Day 7, part 2
Hi Everybody

Sorry for the delay in posting but internet access is very limited here. I’ve been able to download some emails when out shopping but haven’t had the time to sit down and type out another posting so it’s a bit of catch up time now. At the motel I can get internet access for $10 per hour. Nice and cheap!

Had a good flight over as I got the four middle seats in the row to myself so was able to stretch out in luxury. I actually got some sleep, watched a movie (for all those folk who like tearjerkers try Nights in Rodanthe), read a book and did some work so pretty good flight all in all. Arrived in Abu Dhabi around 5.30 a.m. A car had been organised to drive me to the Mafraq hotel and the driver only hit 150km so I was relatively relaxed about the whole thing! Luckily the drive to the motel was only 10 mins so didn’t have to suffer for long.

I checked in at the motel and had about an hour to unpack and have a much needed shower before meeting up with the others at 7.00 a.m. for breakfast. It was good to see Meg, Kristie, Naomi and Penny and catch up on the news. After breakfast we headed out to the endurance village to see the horses. The three horses (Penny is on Kitt) all look good and seem to have travelled well. There are always a few minor things arising from a flight but those are quickly sorted.

Started straight into the job of strapper and cleaned out Kalahari’s box and got her organised ready to go out for a ride. Meg and Kristie rode together and did approximately 15kms. While the girls headed out Naomi and I went up to the village and checked it out. Naomi hadn’t been there for about 5 or 6 years and was surprised at the greenery, which hadn’t been there when she saw it. The village looks glorious with its verdant green lawns and lovely trees, such a stark contrast to the surrounding desert.

We headed back out to find Kalahari jigging and carrying on like a real pork chop! She’d seen some of the camels going out for their training and has decided that camels, no matter how far away they are, are going to be hell bent on chasing her and killing her. So she works herself up into a lather and starts dancing on the spot and doing this really weird walk, dropping her arse, flicking her back legs out and lifting her knees up real high. We’re all busy laughing at how ridiculous she looks but she is so, so focussed on those camels!

We drive alongside the girls on the track and chat all the while. I remember thinking in the early days that this was a bit weird but I’ve really grown to like it as you can see the horses travelling, chat and have some fun making the riding much more enjoyable. The scenery can get a little boring when you’re restricted to the same old training track each time and out in the desert it doesn’t matter which way you run the track it is still the same scenery either way!

After returning to our barn we looked after the horses and then headed back to the motel. What I had noticed was the big sand hill that was slowly being built the last time I was here has now grown a twin! Two sand hills, side by side, now exist and trucks and dozers are busy building up the second hill’s height to the same as the other. Activity on this project seems to be busier than I remember it from last time which much more trucks taking the sand up to the top to dump. As well as all that going on we have a major pipeline project happening right out the front of the stables. Seems like they’ve decided it’s a good time to either put in a new pipeline or dig up the existing one. Not quite sure what it is just at the moment but the wide verge in front of the stables has bunting and trucks going up and down and lots of men who seem to do not much more than sit around holes being dug by hand and by a rather decrepit backhoe.

When we got back to the motel it was time for some lunch and the same veritable buffet feast was laid out before us with, I suspect, exactly the same sort of food that we had last time! After that we decided that we needed some physical exercise so a game of tennis was decided upon. This was heaps of fun if not exactly Wimbledon like quality! Balls were being hit all over the place, including out of the court. Naomi got stabbed by a plant when trying to retrieve a ball and ended up with a nasty bruise and it looked like she'd cut her leg from knee to ankle but it was only the dripping blood! We lost a few balls but were pretty happy to find another couple so was able to return exactly the right number of balls at the end of the game.

After that we had a quick drink and then headed back to the ponies for a bit of hand walking, a clean up of the box and then a night feed before returning to the motel. Thankfully our social secretary had decreed that evening a ‘quiet’ evening so it was just a few drinks at the bar upstairs before I turned in early after a very, very long day. The others decided that a margherita at the Shangri La was the go so headed into Abu Dhabi for a drink and some Baskin & Robbins ice-cream.