Four years ago… a remote road to in one country on the South of the African continent: Namibia.
There, the synchronicity made our paths to cross. The feeling that, that guy was special made us to share the night with him. Camping in the bush where nobody could see us we enjoied his company.
We didn´t share more but, few are the travellers that you meet nowdays: many tourists, people who travels with a marked path, or a path with a beginning and end, with time limits, but… few, few are those who already, in 7 years, we met with the nomads spirit, who converted his trip into a way of living the life.
To see Ralph again, this time sitting at the airport, with his crutches, her smile and now with his new girlfriend, Laila, was the first gifts that without knowing was waiting for us.
Arriving to a 5 stars hotel in Dubai in an almost 30 years old van was so funny. The ralph´s van which he converted into a home with which he traveled more than 6 years in Africa was parked in the VIP parking together with masserati, ferraries, porsche…
The days of the festival were a succession of continuous meetings, presentations, photos, interviews, photos and discussions, photos and meetings, evenings of luxurious bedroom hotel and a rich and varied breakfast buffet in the mornings.
Every day one bus driven by a emiraty funny driver took to all of us to the different events that were arganized.
The organizatiton treated us as if we were kings and queens, taking us to a very nice and amazing places that we would never expect, making us feel like if we were in a film.
Sheikh Awad, main organizer of the event, from who arose the idea of bringing to Dubai interesting travelers from all around the world; It turned out to be a traveller, that years ago toured the world in 4 × 4 with a group of emiratís, and this experience made them to change, to learn and to see the world in a different way. Since their trip finished the idea of creating the “Dubai traveler festival” was in his head. The dream became real in december of 2012 and since them year by years will keep growing as international event.
We were more than excited thinking about to meet Sheikh Awad. 5 years ago when we went through UAE we hearded about the sheikhs but we hadn´t the chance to meet one of them. And now it was the moment, we didn´t know how to behave in front of them. Once we met him we realized that he was a normal human been like us, not more, not less. And his simplicity and his way of being made us relax and to be ourselves.
Sheikh awad was the first Emirati we met and in all the time we spent in Dubai we met a lot of them. The thing that most amazed us was the simplicity and humility af these people. They enjoy doing normal things. Gathering around the fire and chating for hours. Talking about life and spending the time in the desert like their ancestors. Still they enjoy the contact with the nature.
Our presentation was the first one of the festival. The crown price gave to all of us a diploma and after that with all the media around was our turn.
Something that we didn´t expect happened. One Emiraty who work in the radio, who speaks really good spanish came to made the translation from the spanish into Arabic. For us was a surprise, and to be able to comunicate in our leguaje was great. But as he didn´t know that we made ready a presentation with picture and music in our computer he started to ask questions about our life and our trip. The questions were very interesting and the people who was atending the event enjoid a lot. Once the interviw was finished many people came to us giving the congratulations.
But trying to explain one trip without pictures is not easy, sothe last day we made our presentation again, but now with pictures and music. And that day the people enjoied even more.
It was great to listen to all the experiences of all the travelers. Each one with his or her way of traveling. Some by camel, van, micro-light, walking, mortobiking, by old taxi…. All of us talking the same lenguaje, the lenguaje that unless you have traveled, you will not be able to undrestand.
We had some problems getting our Indian visa. When we asked for help to Sheikh Awad, he told us: “Don´t worry, you are our guests so we´ll take care of you.”
He helped us getting the Indian visa, and because of that we had to spend longer in Dubai, he took us to his farm in the desert and an the end we spent there 15 more days. We were able to see their life form inside, how they spend the time, how they have fun. We were so lucky for that reason and we enjoyed being with them.
They took us to the most amazing places in the city, to hunting with falcons, to the best bakery in Dubai (and that we can see it was great) to meet interesting people and beautiful corners in Dubai.
Closing the cyrcle Ralph and Laila took us to the Airport in their old van, and we said bye-bye hoping to meet them again somehow, somewhere. Behind we left not only an experience but also a lot of friends and that has been the best.
Now from the bed in our hotel in Kolkata (india) in some moments we look back and we think: “It was real or it was just a dream”