What does sniffing around a ghost town feel like? Oh, before that, what does a ‘ghost town’ even look like?
I felt a sudden chill run through my spine at the mention of the ghost town, that too right here in the UAE – Kiko has brought us proof!
There is, indeed, a mystery shrouded abandoned village somewhere in the middle of the desert. Two rows of traditional houses overlooking each other are covered in sand. It seems like the inhabitants left in a rush, possibly not even caring to take most of their belongings. Once the courtyards used to be full of life and chatter; today all you can see is sand engulfing everything. A mosque stands solitary in the vicinity; what used to be the heart of the community is now left to its fate.
That is what the ghost town of Al Madam in the Sharjah desert looks like. Kiko brings us glimpses from his day trip.
I am not the one to be easily intimidated. So, when hoomans were discussing a visit to the ghost town, I was already preparing to lead the pack, should they encounter any …. you know what … (somethings are not to be said aloud).
We went to Al Madam over a weekend. My bestie Aiko came along with her hoomans. Thankfully, the weather was fantastic – partly cloudy sky, light breeze. I could pop my head out of car window and taste the air – it was kinda salty still. On our way to the ghost town, we crossed a camel farm. My hoomans gave in to my tantrum to meet these huge creatures. But to my utter surprise, they were not exactly friendly with me. I kept hollering at them but instead of a friendly nod, they started chasing me. I mean even before reaching the ghost town, I was feeling the unfriendly vibe.
It is a short ride from Dubai to Al Madam, we reached the spot even before I could ask for a snacky. Just between you and me, I still managed to sneak a couple 😉
After a point, I could only see sand. The colour was much different from the regular sand pit around my home. Aiko and I jumped out of the car on reaching the spot and sniffed everywhere possible to rule out anything eerie. Once we gave a green signal, hoomans began venturing the vast, sand-covered place. We walked around structures that looked like houses, but strangely there were no residents.
The highlight of the trip were the orange-hued, massive sand dunes. Aiko and I went up and down, up and down…It was exhausting yet we could not get enough. We are desert dogs, after all.
In between catching my breath, once I got a fleeting whiff of a goat or a camel or a cat – I cannot be sure. But I could not see anything. I could be wrong, but just saying. Even though I am a brave heart, sniffing around a ghost town comes in a package, right?
If Kiko’s day trip has tickled your adventure bones and you are planning a trip to the ghost town, he has shared some tips:
- Go up and down the huge sand tunes till your tongue is out and your hoomans have had enough of sandboarding.
- Ask hoomans to carry an extra-long leash to be in sight yet be able to explore. Carry enough water to stay hydrated and hoomans must wear sand-proof shoes. Otherwise, pawls and hoomans you will have to turn back – kidding you not!
- It is practical to go in a 4X4 car because the sand is deep and low cars can get stuck. Try to plan the trip early in the morning or early evening. Fair warning: do not be too adventurous, get out of there while there is still daylight.
Is the ghost town worth a see then?