The call to Nagra

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David
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First of all to thank the organizers and Masrshalls, @alshamsi_m , @Booy , @Scorpio and @Rashidjass

Trip to Sweihan started really BADLY, long slow moving convoy at the Screening center in Sharjah, stuck in a left turn for over 90min.

Luckily things improved drastically the day after, 13cars if not mistaken in the convoy, @alshamsi_m taking the leading role with @Mabubaker as second lead and @Johanna closing the convoy.

Drive started with technical dunes that put the convoy under some pressure, sharp crests that quickly remind you that you were not in Al Faqa and that a bit more speed and a more aggressive approach was needed, got stuck in one of them, thanks to the bday girl (@Johanna ) for the pull.

This first part of the drive required adjustments in the convoy to learn and trust the car ahead of you so you did not have to stop or reduce drastically speed (losing momentum) in this area were space was limited, convoy did well and after some time it started to move with a better flow. I personally enjoyed the challenge, many sharp turns that made you lose momentum completely which with the very soft sand required full attention of the drivers. It might be my mistaken impression but FJs do much better under these circumstances that the 4door Wranglers.

Second part was my favorite, bigger dunes, "cleaner" and wider lines with more speed, I always love these ones!!!!

Stop at Nagra for some sightseeing and chitchat (and @alshamsi_m being cursed by almost everyone one for the horizontal line half way up the dune) to finally move to the exit point 10/15 min away.

Overall a fantastic afternoon with fun driving and great company, I can not wait for the next drive and the next trip to Sweihan (even if it has to start at the Sharjah screening center)

Have a nice week.

David
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Sorin
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Hi everyone,

Call To Nagra was one of the drives where I almost didn't make it due to the border-crossing requirements but thankfully on the morning of the drive I got my Negative PCR test resut and I was good to go.

Having experienced the unexpected delays with the testing, I decided to leave home early as to not have anymore surprises while crossing into Abu Dhabi. Made it past the checkpoint faster than expeected so I cruised slowly to the meeting point.

At the meeting point I was the first to arrive as expected but I did pass by other Marshals who were already in the area since the morning drive. I deflated and set up the flags, then took rest under the shade of the trees lining the main road and waited for everyone else to arrive.

Once the group was almost complete we spent some time under the shade to chat and wait for a late member, then we got the quick briefing from @alshamsi_m and proceeded to the drive.

The first part of the drive, I don't remember much because due to the high winds, frequent stops and the fact that I drive with my windows open, it was a litteral sandstorm inside my car and i could barely see a thing :lol:

At one point the leading Marshal's car had an overheating issue and that sent chills up and down my spine because the last time that happened my car overheated as well. But thankfully it was not the case yesterday, engine temperature stayed normal.

Then the second part of the drive commenced and the speed and thrill of it made all the sand dissapear from my eyes (it mostly remained in my hair :lol: ) and a big smile took it's place. The pace was great, and everybody did really well in keeping it up and maintaining a good distance. The super-fun part ended at Nagra Dune where I really wanted to give it a try but I didn't feel my car was in the mood :lol: so I decided not to push it.

It was a beautiful sunset and the many cars going up and down the dune that signaled the end of the drive and we made our way to the exit point by driving faster on a flatter area, rally style.

Needless to say, all the costs incurred in order to attend were worth it.

Thank you to the organizers and support, really appreciate being in your company.

( We had 4 marhsals in two cars floating btw) :grin:

Se you all in the sand very soon hopefully
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presa
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Sorin wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 10:13 am Hi everyone,

Call To Nagra was one of the drives where I almost didn't make it due to the border-crossing requirements but thankfully on the morning of the drive I got my Negative PCR test resut and I was good to go.

Having experienced the unexpected delays with the testing, I decided to leave home early as to not have anymore surprises while crossing into Abu Dhabi. Made it past the checkpoint faster than expeected so I cruised slowly to the meeting point.

At the meeting point I was the first to arrive as expected but I did pass by other Marshals who were already in the area since the morning drive. I deflated and set up the flags, then took rest under the shade of the trees lining the main road and waited for everyone else to arrive.

Once the group was almost complete we spent some time under the shade to chat and wait for a late member, then we got the quick briefing from @alshamsi_m and proceeded to the drive.

The first part of the drive, I don't remember much because due to the high winds, frequent stops and the fact that I drive with my windows open, it was a litteral sandstorm inside my car and i could barely see a thing :lol:

At one point the leading Marshal's car had an overheating issue and that sent chills up and down my spine because the last time that happened my car overheated as well. But thankfully it was not the case yesterday, engine temperature stayed normal.

Then the second part of the drive commenced and the speed and thrill of it made all the sand dissapear from my eyes (it mostly remained in my hair :lol: ) and a big smile took it's place. The pace was great, and everybody did really well in keeping it up and maintaining a good distance. The super-fun part ended at Nagra Dune where I really wanted to give it a try but I didn't feel my car was in the mood :lol: so I decided not to push it.

It was a beautiful sunset and the many cars going up and down the dune that signaled the end of the drive and we made our way to the exit point by driving faster on a flatter area, rally style.

Needless to say, all the costs incurred in order to attend were worth it.

Thank you to the organizers and support, really appreciate being in your company.

( We had 4 marhsals in two cars floating btw) :grin:

Se you all in the sand very soon hopefully
Sorin if I remember last time we drove this area your car was with the heavy tires. How was it with the proper shoes?
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Sorin
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presa wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 10:30 am
Sorin wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 10:13 am Hi everyone,

Call To Nagra was one of the drives where I almost didn't make it due to the border-crossing requirements but thankfully on the morning of the drive I got my Negative PCR test resut and I was good to go.

Having experienced the unexpected delays with the testing, I decided to leave home early as to not have anymore surprises while crossing into Abu Dhabi. Made it past the checkpoint faster than expeected so I cruised slowly to the meeting point.

At the meeting point I was the first to arrive as expected but I did pass by other Marshals who were already in the area since the morning drive. I deflated and set up the flags, then took rest under the shade of the trees lining the main road and waited for everyone else to arrive.

Once the group was almost complete we spent some time under the shade to chat and wait for a late member, then we got the quick briefing from @alshamsi_m and proceeded to the drive.

The first part of the drive, I don't remember much because due to the high winds, frequent stops and the fact that I drive with my windows open, it was a litteral sandstorm inside my car and i could barely see a thing :lol:

At one point the leading Marshal's car had an overheating issue and that sent chills up and down my spine because the last time that happened my car overheated as well. But thankfully it was not the case yesterday, engine temperature stayed normal.

Then the second part of the drive commenced and the speed and thrill of it made all the sand dissapear from my eyes (it mostly remained in my hair :lol: ) and a big smile took it's place. The pace was great, and everybody did really well in keeping it up and maintaining a good distance. The super-fun part ended at Nagra Dune where I really wanted to give it a try but I didn't feel my car was in the mood :lol: so I decided not to push it.

It was a beautiful sunset and the many cars going up and down the dune that signaled the end of the drive and we made our way to the exit point by driving faster on a flatter area, rally style.

Needless to say, all the costs incurred in order to attend were worth it.

Thank you to the organizers and support, really appreciate being in your company.

( We had 4 marhsals in two cars floating btw) :grin:

Se you all in the sand very soon hopefully
Sorin if I remember last time we drove this area your car was with the heavy tires. How was it with the proper shoes?
The difference is pretty big, in the positive sense. The Yokohama Geolandar LT ( I can't find the normal ones for my 15 inch rims) floats alot better and doesn't put as much stress on the engine as the MT Comforser 3000s, hence the climbs are easier to do and I dont have to push the engine as much as before.
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Johanna
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Hi everyone,

for me this was a emotional and different drive for several reasons... So instead of sharing a long story here, I made a video :have_a_nice_day:





BR, Johanna

If it excites you and scares you at the same time, it probably means you should do it.
Tomvanhouten
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Hi All,

A great afternoon it was!

Prior to be able to attend the Covid testing had to be done, which was quite a long wait, but absolutely worth it to drive in this area.
For me this was the first time in this area and a great experience, hopefully we get more of these drives in AD.

Starting off slowly with @alshamsi_m in the lead, we progressed to some more faster paced driving soon after.
I loved when the right foot off the lead car was in good shape again and the higher dunes were in front of us!

Great drive, but really time to install that snorkel! :lol:

Thanks @Rashidjass , @Booy , @SINGH , @Scorpio , @Johanna and @Mabubaker for everything

Hopefully till soon,

Tom
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Booy
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Hello everyone,

After many months of not being able to drive in Abu Dhabi, we did not waste time to grab the first available opportunity to go back to Sweihan.

For some of our members, this was the first time for them in this area, and the size of the dunes is nothing like we know back in Dubai or Sharjah (but still nothing compared to Liwa - wait for winter :)

I had @Scorpio as my passenger in the afternoon, and it was great catching up with you...

I'm looking forward to more drives in AD.

See you soon in the sand.

Regards,

Booy
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osman
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Hello!,

The dunes are not challenging enough so we have the registration challenge on Sundays @6. As if the registration is not an enough challenge, we now started to have COVID test challenge!

With the successful registration outcome, I tried to book one of the Dubai test centers on Monday in order to pass to Abu Dhabi border but there was no space so I had to put my name on Sharjah test center. I thought I would drive some 45-50 minutes to get the test done in few minutes, say 15 and then have it done. But the long queues costed my 4 hours on Thursday afternoon. So this drive must be worth for that pain and it was indeed.

@alshamsi_m briefed us saying that the first part of the drive would be technical and the second part would be faster safari style. He said we should expect three wheels touching the sand, the fourth one is optional. Than there was a silence. The convoy order was set and off we drove. However, the convoy also tried to exercise driving on the belly and some were not so successful.

We drove with quite a few stops for stuck cars in the first half, then @rathica joined the convoy with @booy's help as she had some difficulty crossing the border and being late. The we rally picked up the speed with the nice pace and reached to Nagra. The drive was very much enjoyable after 5:30 but like all the good things come to end, we finished before 7 with a sweet taste in our mouth.

Thanks to marshals, the founder and the supporting team for making this great drive and happy birthday to @johanna.
Preggy
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Like Sorin, I also almost didn't make it to the drive. After an unusually long delay at the E11 boarder crossing, possibly due to time of day, I was further delayed when I was diverted off the E14 and onto the E311 in the direction of Abu Dhabi. Realizing that I was not gonna make it to the meeting point on time I decided to call Booy to let him know that I won't be attending the drive as I did not want to hold the convoy up unduly. At that very moment I spotted a dirt road leading to a tunnel that passed under the E311. I immediately took the short cut and shaved 20 minutes off my travel time. There was definitely light at the end of that tunnel. I then informed Booy that I would be at the meeting point at the scheduled drive start time provided that there were no more unforeseen delays.
Arriving at the meeting point in the nick of time, I did what I needed to do and joined the convoy. I initially thought that I'd driven in this area previously on a trip led by Pressa. But when we entered the desert, the terrain looked totally unfamiliar to say the lease. The topography resembled a scene from a cowboy movie, only the cliche rocky out crops were replaced by sand dunes. We found ourselves surrounded by steep dunes with pointed ridges. The prevailing winds had deposited a layer of soft sand which was difficult to traverse. Needless to say, the first 1 hour of the trip was riddled with second tries and stucks.
This all changed when our lucky charm Rathica, joined the convoy (big thanks to Booy). Like a badly edited, low budget movie, the scenery changed completely as we crossed the power lines and we were greeted by gently sloping dunes with beautifully rounded crests. Shamzi picked up the pace and the convoy followed like the devil was on their tails. After a brief stopover at Nagara we exited the desert with haste - like a gang of bandits that had stolen the prized jewel of Nagara :grin: . Lovely way to end a Friday afternoon.
Thanks to Booy, Shamzi and Rashid & Joanna for the trip organization, lead and support.
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Ride or Die🚙
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