I don't know which I like best, cruising on the ocean or cruising off-road
in the desert. I've done them both, and both have a lot commend
them. That may be the reason why I like land cruising and ocean
cruising so much - the experiences are so similar
It may surprise you to discover that the ocean is the biggest desert in the
world. When I'm on the high seas, there's water everywhere and not a
drop to drink. When I'm out in the terrestrial desert, there's water
nowhere, and there's still not a drop to drink. It doesn't matter which
desert you're cruising in, you have to take your water with you or make it
when you get there in order to survive.
The real problem with land cruising is there's hardly any land left in
which you can freely cruise. The only places remaining are remote sections
of the Middle East, and then you have to be careful in some countries to
be sure there are no landmines underfoot.
I've traveled off-road for tens of thousands of miles in Saudi Arabia, and
as far as I am concerned, Arabia has the best land cruising in the world.
There are escarpments, wadis, mountains, volcanoes, and humongous seas of
sand to entertain you. Imagine land cruising in a playground that encompasses a million
square miles, and there's hardly a fence or farm to restrict your movement.
That makes Arabia one of the biggest sand boxes in the world.
The picture at the top this page shows Wadi Rum in Jordan. This vista
is the stuff land cruising dreams are made of. Sandstone mountains (inselbergs)
rise up from the desert floor. A Land Rover with four-hundred liters
of fuel and two-hundred liters of water could cruise for weeks in all the
nooks and crannies of this special place. Like twenty-first century bedouins,
we could pitch our tents in a hundred different places in this sandy
wilderness. At night billions of stars would twinkle before our eyes,
just like they do when we are sailing offshore in the darkness.
Desert survival is very much like surviving at sea. You must have your
wits about you and not do stupid things; both the sea and desert are harsh
masters that can kill you in the twinkling of an eye. Make one mistake,
and you are a goner. At the same time, if you know the rules and obey
them, you get to go where few people ever go and see things few people ever see.
If I had to design a perfect life, I would spend split my time between the
desert and the sea. I would explore remote deserts for six months, and
then hop on board Exit Only and sail on the ocean of my dreams for the
remainder of the year. I would have the best of both worlds.
Now, let me see, I've got two Land Rover's down under in Australia and
New Zealand, and Exit Only in America. Maybe I should cruise the
outback of OZ in my Land Rovers for six months, and then spend six months
cruising the Bahamas in Exit Only. That sounds like a plan to me.