Urban beach & the black box

January 25, 2019 in DUBAI | Comments (0)

A sweet incident from the past  – not published then. 

Retracing our steps in Four Beaches and Five Animals, a trip via Dubai to South Africa and Mozambique. Beach one, Dubai.

This is the beach at the Ritz-Carlton, an area where lots of little cafes and restaurants make it a very urban beach. You can hardly be more urban than Dubai, and yet beachy…

Dubai was just a short stopover, baked into the Emirates plane ticket. With some 12 hours in Dubai wedged between arrival and departure, we tried to retrieve as much time as possible for sleep at the Ritz Carlton. That means we ordered Ahlan & Marhaba VIP services to get us through the airport fast.

Like magic on arrival you mosey off to a lounge to sit a short while with a drink while your Ahlan agent rushes off with your passports. Then you are lead quickly through the passport control and through the airport via a currency exchange of sorts (the real one was too far away). They refused our SEK. Outside we were handed to another agent who handed over to a competent driver.

Indeed competent. We asked our driver to change our departure time from the Ritz Carlton, pinning our faith on our VIP service to gain an hour of sleep. And he did, allowing departure from the hotel at 8am. We really needed it…

It was somewhere in the middle of the night when we were shown to our room, which turned out to be much more than a room thanks to upgrade  – a wonderful suite with a curved balcony viewing the pool, the palms, and the glint of water between the beach and that phenomenal man made island, The Palm.

The porter had offered to show us the lights. This  usually has the form of you trying to scrabble in your handbag looking for a suitable note for a tip while the porter finds  yet another light switch to impress you with- We had no dirhams.

So we said no thanks – we are tired.

We would be far more tired before the switching out of the lights it turned out. They are controlled by a little flat electronic tablet we did not notice. No switches work.

We tried pulling out the door key, and sure enough the lights went out, but a deep thick curtain began to groan as it closed, and we were in utter pitch darkness.

Luckily we had a torch ready for our visit to the bush later on. So we were able to make our way back and insert the door key. Work out how to phone reception, and then try to solve the problem. In the end they had to come up and show us where the black computer was…

Next problem was how to switch on the loo light  for a late night visit. There was no way to do this simply in the middle of the night. You would have to switch on the main lights to see the computer controls, and a spotlight would gaze blindingly into your eyes from the ceiling above your bed.

So we had to leave the loo light on all night.

This was a small incident.

The suite was gorgeous. Loads of room for entertaining if we wanted to do more than sleep through our stopover. Lovely decor. Lovely bathroom and dressing room. Wonderful bed and bedding. And a lovely balcony, curved with a view of palms and water. I just had my iPhone which was not up to the scenery at night.

But I took this picture down below on the way to breakfast through the tropical green morning.

Breakfast was a lavish tropical feast, adorablly delicious. We love you Ritz-Carlton…

I am trying to rescue Orbitwithgillian which has been hit by sorrow, loss of my webmaster my beloved daughter, time loss through work pressures and the loss of plugins from WordPress. 


Four beaches and Five Big animals

December 29, 2013 in DUBAI,MOZAMBIQUE,SOUTH AFRICA | Comments (1)

FOUR BEACHES AND FIVE BIG ANIMALS.

We combined the South African bush and a “hunt” for the Big Five with two beach resorts and two luxurious urban hotels on the beach, hence my title. Just a little sunshine broke months of rain…but we escaped the swelter of 30 to 35 degrees C that usually marks summers in these subtopical areas of the northern South African coastline and southern Mozambique…

2 windows

Sun filters through the canopy of sand forest at Forest Lodge Phinda, where our glass walled cabin number 14 is embedded with intriguing views.  This night a leapard was spotted in the camp – we had already moved on to Vlei Lodge …

4

And sun glances on the refreshing water of our own pool at Vlei Lodge Phinda – hot enough to swim. Plenty of game to be seen from this cottage number 6, and elephants often come to drink from this pool

Who cries for the sun when the nights are magical? Lantern lit private dinners on our deck. The sounds of the deep sand forest, including the cry of tiny primates called Bush Babies. And perhaps most magical of all a boma dinner, in a walled area safe for outdoor dining in the unfenced camp, lit by fire. A bush baby came down to steal Danish Blue Cheese…

boma dinner video

More to follow.

A little glimpse of what is coming. A preview of the beaches…

DSC00284 beach rocktail stretching 35 km

A beach that stretches from a world heritage area in South Africa up to Santa Maria in Mozambique – at least 35 km

DSC00176

Rustic steps down to a wild beach where 7 turtles laid eggs last night, and 2 were seen browsing on a reef by a diver we met at R ocktail Beach Camp

And the animals…

elephants with baby

And the exciting places to stay …

DSC00114 rocktail our veranda

And then two more beaches as bonus. With a stopover in Dubai, our first urban resort on the beach was the Ritz-Carlton Dubai…

ritz carlton al fresco

Breakfast alfresco – with the beach over there somewhere, no time to visit it on our overnight stop

In Umhlanga near Durban, the delightful Oyster Box revealed the second beach of our trip; we had a room with a view of the red golden sands and the thunder of waves on the beach.

oyster box sea v ideo