January 2011 Rambles


QNHG – Rambles & Field Trips

January Schedule 2011

 Happy New Year!

We are off to a beautifully Qatari new year with a sandstorm to welcome in 2011, but that's just in keeping with this amazing place!

Another amazing aspect of Qatar is its hidden jewels, such as Sheikh Faisel's Farm & Museum. QNHG usually visits this farm when it opens for the winter season, but there has been more than one drawback to going in large groups.First of all, it' much better to wander around and explore the collections in small groups. Second, and more importantly, the dates that we have arranged in the past have not been convenient for everyone, so here's my idea - call Ms. Hajer at 5557. 7564 and arrange a visit for yourself and friends.That way the trip will be most conveniently timed and you will get the most out of the experience. Just remember that the museum is closed on Fridays.
Here are some updated directions to Sheikh Faisel's Farm & Museum: Take the Dukhan Road west until you reach the Umm Alafai Petrol Station. From the PS, continue west for 11 kilometers to Exit 33, the exit for the Camel Racing Track. Go around the roundabout and get back on the Dukhan Road, but this time east bound, heading towards Doha. At about the five kilometer mark you will see a white sign on the right which states in English, under a couple of lines of Arabic: Al Samiriyah, Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum.Turn right immediately after this sign and follow it straight back to the museum. You may have to stop at the gatehouse, but just tell them that you are there to visit the museum. Mentioning Ms. Hajer never hurts, too!
This will indeed be a short message this month, but details on both the trips below and for the first aid kits I mentioned at our last meeting are soon to follow!
Fun, Safe Trips
John Tribuna,
QNHG Rambles & Field Trips Coordinator
January 2011 Overview:


Friday, Jan. 28th: Simaisma GPS Walking/Geocaching Ramble - Details below

A pleasant stroll at the beach, combined with the amusement of a treasure hunt and the intellectual satisfaction of mastering a billion-dollar technology.  Peter Little has prepared a special walking tour to introduce us to geocaching. Participants will use hand-held GPS's to locate ten points on Simaisma beach, and must answer questions about each point. This is not intended to be a race, but rather to give us practice in using a GPS to navigate and find things. 

FAQ: Do I need to be an expert geocacher to participate? No, absolutely not. Peter will hand out printed material that tells you everything you need to know, and will give a short orientation session before we set out.
What to Bring:
We will be working with hand-held GPS devices for this ramble, so although the one in your car may help you get there, bring a hand-held one to play with - if you have one. If you don’t have a handheld GPS but want to learn how to use one, come anyway. We’ll be organizing into groups, so there will be at least one device per group.
As always, bring a pair of binoculars since you may see some interesting birds in the area, including flamingoes. Don’t forget to bring water, snacks and sun screen since we will be outside and moving around a bit! Also, bring a picnic lunch since the beach is a nice place to have one!
Other Preparations/Concerns:  Four-wheel drive vehicles are not necessary.
Since we’ll be right in ‘downtown’ Simaisma, this is not a good ramble for your dog. Just up the coast and just out of town, however, is a nice mangrove area where many people bring their dogs for a run or walk. Although you do not need a 4WD vehicle to get there, you do need a car that has enough clearance to drive on rough dirt roads. It is also a coastal sabkha area, so stay on the beaten path.
Date:                                  Friday, January 28th
Rendezvous & Time:          Simaisma Beach, just behind the little market.
Directions: Go north on the Al Khor Road (NOT the Al Shamal!). Take the exit at the 23 km marker to get to Simaisma. At the end of the exit ramp, turn left and drive straight until you get to the beach through a number of roundabouts.
As your first geocaching task, try to locate the parking area using its coordinates, which are: N 25º 34.447’, E051º 29.305’.
Meet:                0900
Start:                 0930
Return:             1200
John Tribuna, QNHG Rambles & Field Trips Coordinator – send texts to 605.6762; no calls during business hours, and none after 9:00 PM.
Please call Peter Little at 6668.3993 if you have questions on the day of the ramble.



Friday, January 14th: Ramble - Al Khararra before the rains


         Break out your walking shoes and join us as we revisit Al Kharrara, one of our most popular areas of exploration.

         As there is not a large variety of plants to investigate this time of the year, we will focus on exploring the geology and wildlife of the area – with any luck we will see a desert fox or two, but we should also see many tracks and other animal sign, including owl and other raptor pellets, the leavings of their meals.

         With any luck we will also have a geologist or two along to explain the details of what we are seeing, but I will be able to provide a general overview, and at least one explanation as to why there are so many pretty stones strewn around that part of the desert!

         Since we're going to be trying to spot wildlife, leave your dogs at home!

         Come one, come all and enjoy wandering the desert before the green reappears and we once again become slaves to our air conditioners!

What to Bring:

       Bring a pair of binoculars, as we might not be able to get very close to any wild desert creatures that we may run across. As per usual, bring sun lotion, a hat, and water - lots of water - along with plenty of food. When we stop for lunch, we'll probably need to make our own shade, so take an umbrella or tarp along, too.

         We will be in primitive conditions, so bring along any toiletries you may need. The facilities at your home will be the last ones we see before entering the desert.

         Any books on the flora, fauna or geology of this part of the world will come in handy, as well.


Other Preparations/Concerns: We will be heading out into the desert for this trip, so make sure your 4-wheel drive vehicle is in good running condition, that is, double-check equipment, top off the gas/petrol tank, and generally get ready to go the night before departure. We have a long trip ahead of us, so we won’t have time for casual stops along the way.

       A SPECIAL NOTE TO PARENTS OF YOUNG CHILDREN: Do not expect that your children will be allowed in vehicles without the required safety seating. It is a car owner’s prerogative as to who rides in their car, and the conditions under which this occurs. If you want to guarantee a seat for your child, you must bring your own vehicle.

Restrictions:        No dogs, cats or pet giraffes. You must have a 4-wheel drive (4X4) vehicle for this trip. No sedans or saloons allowed.

Date:                    Friday, January 14th 2010

Rendezvous & Times:           Hyatt Plaza on Al Waab Road,

 under the large shopping cart

Meet:            8:30 AM

Depart:         9:00 AM

Return:         Early afternoon, around 1:00 PM


Price per Adult: Free

Price per Child (under 12 years old): Free

Organizer(s): John Tribuna, QNHG Rambles & Field Trips Coordinator – send texts to 605.6762; no calls during business hours, and none after 9:00 PM.