February 15, 2008

Picnic at Singing Dunes Part 1

I was preparing to climb the dunes.

One of the suggestions that came out of our regular office meetings is to have some kind of social gathering (including families) such as picnic, beach party, etc. Everyone liked the idea and some of my colleagues even volunteered to become part of the social committee who was incharged of the activities. There are three activities proposed at the beginning of the year and another three after summer. The first social activity is picnic at the Singing Dunes. The Singing Dunes in Doha, Qatar is one of the approximately 30 locations in the world where sound is naturally produced from the sand dunes.

Notice the crescent shape of dunes.

The sound is decribed as similar to a loud, low-pitch, rumble, and it emanates from the crescent-shaped dunes. The sound emission accompanies a slumping or avalanching movement of the sand, usually triggered by wind passing over the dune or by someone walking near the crest.

The Trip
The group decided to meet and drive in a convoy at 2 pm. Because we live on the other side of town, we decided to take the other route. Of all things, we forgot our map, my cellphone is lowbat and since I'm using a different phone (the old one), I don't have my colleagues' numbers. Fortunately, the mobile number of one of my colleagues is still saved in my old phone. Through several exchange of calls, we managed to find our way. When we arrived, some of them are already on top of the dunes.

I tried to climb the smaller dunes and I almost didn't make it. Believe me, it's not easy!

The Set-Up
The afternoon is a bit windy than usual. We arranged our SUVs such that it will also serve as a windbreaker. Then, everyone started to unload and set-up the chairs, tables, grillers, etc. Although my company organized the trip, the arrangement is bring your own stuff and meals. My colleagues were quite prepared and equipped. I noticed that westerners are fond of picnic and camping. It's our first time to have a picnic here and we really don't have picnic/camping materials. It's good that we at least brought two portable chairs. Hehehe...

This is the view from the top of the dune. There is already sandstorm when we took the photo; hence, the hazy background.

Palaying in the Dunes
My boss and another colleague brought slings and tennis balls. They throw the balls to the dunes while the dogs run after the tennis balls to bring it back to the owners and be thrown again. It's fun playing with the dogs.

To be honest, I was clueless how the sound is produced from the sand. I was glad the the 3 1/2 year-old son of my colleague thaught me how to make the dunes "sing." He told me to sit on the sand and slide down. The sound is produced if the sliding is done right way. The little boy was clever and amazing! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take photos when he was demonstrating how to slide in the sand.

To amuse myself, I joined the group of people climbing to the top of the dunes. It took me forever to reach the top that I almost gave up. Hehehe... As I climb to the top, I feel that for every upward step I take, I slide two steps down. With almost 90-degree slope and soft sand, it's was a challenge! My boss' daughter already made several trips to the top and I am still halfway. *Whew!* Another challenge during the climb is the sandy wind a.k.a. sandstorm. I wish I have safety glasses to protect my eyes. I am very concerned because I just had my laser eye surgery a few months ago. Nobody expected that it's going to be exceptionally windy.

That's me (black shirt) and my hubby during the climb and the little boy in the middle is my colleague's son.

This the view of the picnic area from top.

We climbed to the top of dunes to have a good view of the sunset. It's very unfortunate that the sandstorm got stronger as we reach the top; hence, no sunset watching happened.

Do you enjoy going to picnic or camping?

Related Posts

Picnic at Sand Dunes Part 2

How to create sound from the dunes

More Photos here

Picnic at Singing Dunes

1 comment:

Heart of Rachel said...

Hi Nina. Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos. I have heard of the singing dunes and find it very intriguing.

Looks like there are so many fun activities you can do at the sand dunes.

BTW, please check out my Thursday Thirteen ... you have an award waiting there.

Happy weekend!