Dubai, United Arab Emirates
We did the private 4x4 desert adventure tour in mid-August. The company called my US cell phone the day before we were scheduled and arranged for a time and place for pick-up. The driver was 15 minutes early, spoke excellent English and had excellent demeanor and obviously enjoyed his job. From the half hour ride to the desert to the actual ride over the dunes, his driving was exemplary. He was generous with his local knowledge for our multitude of questions. The camp had wonderful bathroom facilities including running water and soap. Private tour means that your group has it's own car, just front and back seats. All of the private tour cars drive together through the desert and arrive at the camp at the same time. Highly recommended!
our guide Nicola was terrific, but the problem with this tour is that you pay 22 Euro on top of the tour price, but the tour leaves the Vatican Museums(with no re-entry allowed) and you have no time to explore other areas of the museum or visit their very nice museum shop. i think the Vatican Museums need a 6 hour tour. Here we toured the Vatican first thing in the AM while there are not crowds of people, which was nice, we didn't need headphones, but then we left the Museum to see St. Peter's Basilica but when we arrived at the Basilica the lines were too long to get in so we stood in the center of the Square and heard about what was inside the Basilica. Perhaps the guide should have called an associate outside of the museum to see if it was worth it to leave the museums. it was a very special time with the new Pope being elected but all the more reason that there should be better communication among the tour office members.
Manuel was a terrific guide! finding this office is a bit difficult so don't leave it to the last miute. Manuel is very timely. the tour goes along city streets and some narrow spaces, so not good for people who are not deft maneuverers with a bicycle. We used Ghost bicycles which ahd terrific suspension and the office uses a special coating inside of the tire so if a flat occurs, it will seal the hole on its own without the tour guide having to take time to fix it. the actual tour was fantastic...learned lots even though i've been reading many guide books. it rained and hailed and lightning stormed on us, yet would definitely still recommend. if going in rainy weather, just wear your boots to keep your feet dry. They have rain ponchos, but perhaps bring a belt as they are quite long.
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