Monday, January 11, 2016

Camping in the Southern Desert

The other thing that happened this weekend was an overnight camping trip in the desert with a bunch of guys. So on Friday morning I met up with some friends of mine and helped load up the truck. I brought my homemade chili to eat with the dinner tonight.

About an hour later we found a spot in the southern desert. Reasonably secluded, with a small ridge on three sides to help protect against the wind. While one of my friends texted the others where the location was I helped a friend set up the majlis-style seating.

Shortly thereafter some of the other guys arrived.

Qatar camping is not like what one might expect in Canada or America. Someone brought a generator and set up lights and a projection screen.

Meanwhile a barbecue pit was being dug as we would be cooking a marinated goat for dinner. (I don’t have any good pictures of the process but it’s the same as in this blog post from a year ago.)

And someone brought lunch for everyone. I kid you not -- pizza and McDonald's.

So we all started chowing down on lunch.

And dessert was – donuts!

While we were eating a herd of goats went by, accompanied by a goatherd. He kept the goats far away from the camp.

After lunch it was a matter of whiling away the hours until sunset chatting, playing cards, or playing with things like Frisbees. Yet more guys arrived, by sunset there were around 25 people.

As the sun was setting we started the fire on the barbecue. Cooking was going to take over 2 hours.

So while the fire was going we mostly sat around, playing the card game Brazilia or FIFA 16 on the PS4 (that's what the projection screen was for). After dinner some of the guys went back to Doha while the rest of us went to sleep in the tents. It became very humid in the night so it actually got quite chilly, I had three jackets of various thickness on and I was still feeling it a little. Didn't have any trouble getting to sleep though as I had plenty of blankets.

The next morning the first priority was coffee. Thankfully there was a Nespresso machine that someone brought. (very civilized I must say)

The rest of the morning was spent chatting, eating the remains of whatever food was around, and then cleaning up before heading out. Sometimes Arabs get a bad reputation for littering but these guys were pretty thorough in making sure the campsite was cleaned up, we hauled out numerous bags of trash.

And thus ended a typical weekend camping trip. A lot more comfortable then what I’d expect back in Canada but it was fun.

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