Our Great Hatta Adventure

It seems like a long time ago now when our photography group decided to trek up to Hatta to catch the sunrise. In reality, it was only 2 weeks ago.

We left the house at a little after 3.30am and met up with the rest of the group in Dubai. Unfortunately three members couldn’t make it due to prior commitments. The drive towards Hatta was fairly okay, it was still dark as we approached the end of Dubai. Then the sky started brightening, slowly and we found the first gas station to park in.

We all jumped out of the respective cars, dying to stretch our legs out and carried our cameras and tripods and looked for the most suitable vantage point to catch that sun rising beyond the horizon.
And we were not disappointed.

The skies brightened at around 6am but the sun didn’t actually turn up behind the mountains until around 6.20. This photo will teach me to go and buy a UV filter or a polarizer! Look at how crappy it is!
The sun rose up into the clouds and dazzled us with its brilliance for a few minutes before hiding behind those greys. But without giving the sky this beautiful blue colour. You should have heard the sounds of shutter curtains popping up and down furiously while this view lasted!
One last shot before it got too hot out for us. We were blessed with beautiful cloud formations, which was apparently unusual for the time of the year. Usually it’s just bleak greys covering the sky.
After capturing the golden hour of the morning, we forged ahead towards the wadis and the mountains. We had to ask for directions since none of us had been there before. We passed by a lot of photo-worthy places but the promise of the best of the Hajjar mountains and the wadis lured us further.

We ended up making a slow climb in our cars on this road. It’s a two-way road that cuts through the mountains and takes you to …
… this! It’s Hatta Dam No. 6 I think. There’s not a lot of water due to it being summer but it was a magnificent view.Some of the guys crossed over the rocky fence and walked down towards the water. I was too scared to do anything daring and stayed up with the rest of the group. Somewhere out there are group photos of us but I haven’t seen them yet. It was a rare Friday for us not to be wearing our navy blue Lightform shirts. This photo of me and Bernie is courtesy of my sister-in-law Linell, who is also in the photo class with us. I’d say her photography skills , much like everyone else, have improved since doing the class.
These are the men of Group 6 (or Sixth Avenue I think as we decided to call ourselves), plus Peter (second from left) who is an honourary member but minus Allan who was detained in Dubai due to work commitments. Left to right: Orly, Peter, Eduard, Joseph and Bernie.
And here are the ladies. Our group is composed of married couples and the odd singles whose last names were at the end of the alphabet. From left to right: me, Ashley, Linell, Pauline, Coralyn and Cristy. Hilda was absent due to her husband Allan and Divine was on holiday in Manila.
Here are some random photos while were up at the dam area. This poor little metal thing sticking out of the ground was the perfect subject for a shallow depth of field photo.
There were plenty of awe-inspiring rock formations.Dotted along the rocky outcrops were vegetation which was a marvel in its own right. How do they survive the blistering heat?
I suppose the greenery balances out all the effects of the rocky mountains in this eco-system.
The blue sky was a sharp contrast to the brown, sometimes dreary mountains.
Further out into the road, we stopped for a break but also to see what the heck was this wadi thing was all about. We stepped near a sharp drop in the ground and found ourselves looking out into this. It’s a wadi, a natural spring of fresh water from the mountains. The funny thing is that as you step closer to the edge you could hear water rushing from somewhere beneath!
More green v brown. Date palms were everywhere.
This was the area where we stopped to grab lunch. We packed food and shared it amongst ourselves. It provided much needed shade and also subjects to photograph. Like these beautiful reddish brown rocks!
Or these clumps of rocks forming little caves.
It was terrible that the area was not kept clean. Some Eid holidaymakers left behind their trash from their camp out and it littered the area. The rest of our group were heading towards Al Ain to catch the sunset but we had to get back to Dubai. But not before one last stop in the Hatta area. I don’t know what we were thinking, we just kept clicking!
These rocky outcrops are interesting. You could see the layers of rocks which were pushed up probably due to earthquakes millions of years ago.
If these rocks could talk….what do you think they would say?

On our drive back, we realised we were flanked by desert on either side of the highway. The sun bathed the sand with intense light and the colours were amazing. We had to stop at one point to take photos of the sand. I wish I could say it was in pristine condition but there were quad bike rental places messing up the natural forms of the dunes and those pesky blue plastic grocery bags littered the dunes in some areas.

Still it is beautiful.This is definitely not the last time we will be travelling to Hatta. We’re already planning our next outdoor trip, probably to Ras Al Khaimah when the next Eid comes around in November. by then, we’d have graduated from photography class and hopefully are better equipped with skills to make it a worthwhile trip.
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