Dune bashing. The name sounds like some form of medieval torture. However I can assure you, here it is considered a leisurely and enjoyable pastime. Don’t get me wrong though; this is still quite subjective, especially the leisurely part.
So last Thursday I return home from school in a lethargic mid day slump, gleeful at the thought of the weekend. Sitting in my room veg’ing out a bit, I look up only to be greeted by a cheeky grin from my 9-year-old host brother. Are we going somewhere special? Yes, he said. My father is taking us to the cars and you get to watch us! At this point I was genuinely curious what these fellows were up to, so I decided it wouldn’t hurt to follow along. Granted, I was a little concerned when we suddenly took a detour off the side of the highway in my host dad’s mammoth land cruiser off towards the sand pits.
As soon as we got there I could see a large sand cliff off in the distance grazed with so many tire treads that it suggested a magnificent stampede of camels had just crossed by. But there weren’t any camels to be found; it was just jeeps and motorbikes.
Beneath a set of base tents, a group of Indian workers were standing by the bike stands. It was decided my 7 and 9-year-old brothers would each rent their own dirt bike. I watched them in slight horror and slight awe as they began racing around the great expanse of the desert planes. Meanwhile I sat in the car watching and distractedly devouring a bag of Doritos chips and a Sun Top. For the first time EVER, my host dad turned to me and asked me to put on my seat belt, and I was more than happy to comply, a little worried what that might portend. So off we went full speed ahead rocking up, down, and around the undulating sand dunes. The entire time I could not help but scream silently a little in my head. It certainly did not help the situation watching other young men pulling wheelies in fully functioning motorized vehicles down the dunes. But, when it was all over, after I had recovered fully from my sate of alarm, I had to ask, when are we going again?!