Daily Archives: 18/11/2014

We are still here!

Yikes, sorry guys, yes, we are still here. I know that in the post which I published just before this one I apologised for my lack of writing lately, but that one was written quite a few weeks ago, I just hadn’t hit the “publish” button” I have had some comments regarding my lack of writing, including someone who shall remain nameless who was complaining they didn’t have their bog blog! In other words….well, I’ll leave you to figure it out for yourselves. Mind you, I was threatened that if I exposed their identity, this person would start a blog and dish out the dirt on me. That would obviously be one hell of a long blog!

It’s amazing how time flies. It’s amazing to think we have been here a tad over three months now. It feels like yesterday that we came out of the airport into the most incredible heat and humidity we had ever experienced. It is also pretty amazing how quickly we have settled into life in a place we are proud and happy to call our new home. I fully appreciate that not everybody’s settling in process may have been as smooth as ours, we have had amazing backing which of course makes life a lot easier. In the three months we’ve been here we have sorted out our long term residency (RP), had out Qatari driver’s licences and bought a new car. On the subject of licences; as we both have British driving licences, it was a matter of going to the traffic department which can only be described as an office in palatial surroundings, submit our forms with our eyesight test, pay a small fee and within 15 minutes we both walked out with our Qatari driving licences, how cool is that?!

Discovering Qatar 10470793_10204917465434641_2863161957065365121_o

Well, now that the weather has cooled down, we are out and about every opportunity available. We try and go to once new place every weekend. We have found a wide choice of beaches, some are better than others but the general rule of thumb is to get there early! As we are early birds we don’t mind getting to places early. Last week we went to Simaisma Beach which is some 30 km from Doha. As you can see, the water was amazingly clean! Not only that but it was incredibly shallow, no more than around 3 ft deep! One thing we have learnt, and believe me, “every day is a school day” is that getting changed can be a bit of a challenge so we decided to buy ourselves a tent. Our main tent is on route from the UK so we weren’t about to go and spend crazy money on a tent. we bought a cheap four man tent from Carrefour which does the trick nicely! unfortunately on our first outing, the wind was so strong (that’s quite rare) that we had to put breeze blocks inside it to keep it in place! Anyway, that sorted out our changing problem. We just need to find better pegs as the ones it came with are rubbish, but hey, you get what you pay for! We are looking forward to putting this and our other tent to good use in the coming months. There are some fab places to go camping and this is the time to do it!

 

Our new tent

Our new tent


Simaisma Beach

Look dad, no stabilizers!

I love cycling, I used to as a kid and I do so even more as an adult (me and the word adult in the same sentence don’t really work; but still…) I am hoping to pass on my love of cycling to Kati, we go out together at weekends and do a couple of km around the compound which is a nice and safe environment. Her confidence has grown enormously in recent weeks so today I decided to do away with the stabilizers and hey presto, we have a very confident little girl riding beautifully! The only issue we have is that the breaks on her bike are too hard for her, I spent some time in a bike shop today trying to sort this out but having no luck, they are a bit better but still too hard so we may just need to bite the bullet and get her another bike. Believe it or not, this is her 3rd bike! First one we bought in Bulgaria and had to sell it as I couldn’t fit it in the car for the drive back to Spain, a couple of weeks before leaving I (stupidly) decided to buy her another one, of course, that one didn’t fit either,  so we had to sell that one too and then this one, which we bought in Spain earlier this year.

Riding without stabilizers!

Riding without stabilizers!

 

 

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Discovering Qatar

I am very aware that I have been a bit lazy of late and not posted much on the blog; leaving people wondering what have we been up to!

The last couple of weeks since I last posted anything have been great fun, lots going on. At my grand old age I should really either write it down straight away or carry pen and paper with me to remind myself of the great places we have been to and the interesting people we have met along the way.

Driving Around Qatar

Camel Racing

Camel Racing

Last Friday we popped over to Ash- Shahaniyah to watch the camel races. Well, we popped over on spec not knowing what to expect or see or even if there were any races on. We arrived and as it happens, there was a race in 15 minutes. We went to the entrance to the track which is nothing like a horse track as we had imagined. At the entrance we asked the police who were standing there if we could go in. He looked at us and said “but you don’t have a 4 x 4” something I already knew! Anyway, he agreed to let us in. We drove to the car park which was full of Land Cruiser. We sort of walked aimlessly for a few minutes asking people where the starting point was. It turned out we were parked right in front of it! I am still none the wiser as to what really happens. We just got back into the car and as soon as the camels were off, all the Land Cruisers followed them along the perimeter of the track. We were quite surprised to notice that the there were no jockeys but robots on the back of the camel!

New Car 10620446_10204745881945161_2893528182134596579_o

Last Thursday we ordered our new car. We opted for a 4 x 4 for several reasons. Firstly, security and safety on the road. Seeing the number of bumps and shunts on the road being in something a little sturdier is a wise idea, extra safety having the spare wheel on the back! Secondly; when our shipment arrives, we will have our tent and what’s left of our camping gear. From what I have researched, there are some pretty cool places for camping which are accessible by 4 x 4 only. Thirdly; space to carry our bikes and bits an pieces. Downside to the car is the model. Whatever possessed Mitsubishi to name it the Pajero really beats me (anyone not knowing what it means click HERE).

Rugby! 1889057_10204718430298887_6496367005200136647_o

Katja loves running around and playing gameslike most 4 year olds, so we decided to let her try her hand at rugby! We popped over to the Doha Rugby Club some 6 weeks ago when they had an open day but they wouldn’t accept Katja as she was too young. Poor kid she was quite gutted but fortunately we found a venue that caters for kids her age; so, a couple of weeks ago, she started tag rugby, she is loving it! We bought her a rugby ball and now as the weather is so much cooler, we pop out after tea (we have tea at 16:30) and we have a mess about and she get to practice a bit and get used to things.

Al Zubarah Fort and Archaeological Site

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Al Zubarah Fort

This morning we were up nice and early, well, our usual 5 am start really. We decided to pop out to the Al Zubarah Fort and Archaeological Site which is located an hour or so from Doha. I am glad we went there as it was very interesting and full of fascinating information. It was a shame we didn’t have a chance to visit the deserted village which is a few KM away. Seeming that it’s so close we will pop over in the coming weeks and explore in more detail! If you want more information about Al Zubarah Fort, check out this link: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1402