March 2010 Rambles

QNHG March 2010 Rambles & Field Trips Schedule

A message from the Rambles & Field Trips Coordinator: 

 

Well, our season is quickly drawing to a close with the rise in temperatures! 

We've visited a lot of places this year; so far we've not missed a weekend. This has been a busy time for scheduling, and we're thinking of doing things a little differently next year, as in easing up on the number of trips we do, leaving some weekends free. 

I'd like to hear your thoughts on the season, what worked, what didn't, what you'd like to see more - or less - of, and what you'd like to do to help plan trips! So, please write me a note, send me a text, or let's find some time to talk during the next ramble.

Hope to see you next trip!

~ Exciting, fun & safe travels,

  John Tribuna

QNHG Rambles & Field Trips Coordinator

 
March Overview - Details below!
Friday 5th: Ramble - Al Kharrara in Bloom - south central

Saturday 13th: Ramble - Zubara City Archeology Site, Revisit - northwest coast

Friday 19th: Ramble - Qatar University Campus, Intro to Birding - Doha

CHANGE: Friday 26th ~ Saturday 27th: Field Trip - UmmTays area Camping and walk - north coast


Friday, March 5th: Ramble - Al Khararra in Bloom

south central

 

Description:

Dust off your walking shoes and join us as we revisit one of our most popular walks through the al Kharrara area. 

The last time we hosted a trip to al Kharrara, it was in the pouring rain. This time it will be with the desert in bloom - at least as in bloom as Qatar gets! 

Accompanying us will be Reneee Richer, a QNHG member and noted biologist who will fill us in on the flora that we will find. As luck will have it, her friend Aurura Castille, also noted in her field of herpetology, will be with us to inform  us on our scalier neighbors. Check for animal tracks, desert vegetation and just take in the view as we stroll up, down and around the ancient alluvial landscape!

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

Come one, come all and enjoy wandering the desert before the green disappears 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 and sabkha areas 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, March 5th 2010 

Rendezvous & Times: Al Wakra vacant lot (See directions below!)

Meet at: 7:30 AM

Depart at: 8:00 AM

Directions: 

From Doha drive through to Al Wakra. You will pass the Airport Petrol Station on your right.  As you reach Al Wakra:

•      At 1st Roundabout after the petrol station, go straight (past the Hummer & Cadillac dealership).

At 2nd Roundabout, the Scallop Shell Roundabout, turn right.

At 3rd Roundabout go straight. After 20 metres turn onto the left  onto an unpaved area. You will see the rest of the QNHG lost souls congregating on that corner, so look out for us. Shops border this area, (Beauty Salon), so cars can be left here.

  • Link to assembly location on Google Maps
  •  

    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.



    Saturday, March 13th: Ramble - Zubara Fort & City Archeology Site

    northwest coast


    Description:

    We have been invited back to the ruins of Zubara City to see what has been discovered in this season's digs! We will meet up with the intrepid international gang of archeologist who have been calling Zubara home this winter season to see the extent of their latest investigations, that is, just before they bury them up again for protection until next season.

    Come and find out what they found, so when this area is designated a "World Heritage Site", you can tell everyone how you knew it when it was just piles of dirt!

    After we will go back to the deserted village for lunch. You can comb the beach, check out the mangroves, or bird watch - it'll be up to you!


    What to bring:

    Binoculars, your personal libraries on flora & fauna, and as per usual, bring sun lotion, a hat, and water - lots of water - along with plenty of food. The village is a great place to stop for lunch, but we can't guarantee access to the buildings, or that they will have roofs! protected - we'll need to make our own shade/rain protection, so take an umbrella or tarp along, too. 

    Although there are usually bathroom facilities at Fort Zubara, they are a bit primitive, so bring along any toiletries you may need. 


    Other Preparations/Concerns:

    This will be a great trip for children, not so much one for dogs. Be careful in the fort in that it is by no means 'child proof' - lots of steps, etc. to watch out for!

    Remember our etiquette for visiting archeological sites - don't worry, I'll remind you!


    Restrictions:

    When visiting the ruins, remember you at an archeological site. This means we cannot take anything from the site, no matter how trivial or interesting it may seem.


    Date: Saturday, March 13th

    Rendezvous & Times:  Landmark Mall,Parking lot in front of TGIF restaurant 

    Meet: 8:30 AM

    Depart: 9:00 AM


    Directions:

    From Landmark Mall, we will head north on the Al Shamal Highway. The highway is under construction, so be careful - the road is twisty and rough - and people tend to drive way too fast for its conditions. Almost exactly 56 kilometers north, one kilometer north of the Umm Bikrika (sp?) exit, we will use the left lane turn-around for Zubara. We will head back south one kilometer towards Doha, taking the first right-side exit to Zubara. We will then drive 35 kilometers west or northwest, stopping at the fort on the right.


    Price per Adult: Free

    Price per Child (under 12 years-old): Free

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


    Friday 19th: Ramble - Qatar University Campus, Intro to Birding

    Doha


    Description:

    Want to know what the names of all those birds making such a racket in your neighborhood? From White-eared Bulbuls to Myna Birds and Singing Thrushes, this a a great opportunity to find out!

    This is our second introductory trip to Qatar University - last year's was a terrific time, a great way to see the wide variety of birds that call the extensive Qatar University campus - and your neighborhood - 'home'.

    Our trip will be limited in number to 50 participants, however, so the first fifty to send a detailed message to my phone numbr (below) will top the list. When you send me a text to tell me you want to participate, make sure you not only give me the number of people in your group, but their names as well. If you don't hear back from me, that means you're on the list. I will call or text everyone who is on the waiting list. (See my contact information below.)

    The campus is conveniently located on the north side of Doha. We will be entering through the male entrance, which is at University RA, the first one south of the Golf Club RA.


    What to bring:

    Of course, if you have them, a pair of binoculars and a bird book for this region would be great. If you don't have either of these, some equipment will be provided and shared.

    As per usual, bring sun lotion, a hat, and water along with plenty of food for a lunch afterwards. An extra layer of clothes, such as a light jacket, may be handy due to the unpredictable temperatures this time of year, especially one with a bit of water-proofing for the odd rain shower that could put in an appearance. 

    Regarding toilette facilities, they may be available, but take precautions - most of the university buildings will locked or otherwise inaccessible.


    Other preparations/concerns:

    Other than the None special, other than be aware that the campus contains a wildlife restricted area that no one may access. Also, the campus is split into male and female areas, although this should not provide us with any difficulties.


    Restrictions:

    No Dogs. Children are okay, with a little bit of ketchup.


    Date: Friday, March 19th

    Rendezvous & Times: Qatar University Male Entrance

    Meet: 8:00 AM

    Depart: 8:30 AM

    Directions:

    Enter Qatar University's campus from the University RA, the first RA south of the Golf Club RA. Once allowed in, go straight through the small RA and follow the road around a series of gentle curves for about a half kilometer. The parking lot where we will be meeting is the first one on the right.


    Price per Adult: Free

    Price per Child (under 12 years-old): Free

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


    Saturday 27th: Ramble - Oryx Breeding Farm Visit - CANCELLED
    Friday- Saturday March 26th- 27th
    Umm Tays Camp with Optional Day Trip
    Description:

    All are welcome to join in this two day trip; it will also be possible to join us on the Saturday for the day trip. The trip will take us up to the North of Qatar to a National Reserve which is composed of sabkhas, wetlands, mangroves and sand islands.  The sand in this region is coral sand the correct texture for the turtles who make their nest here from April onwards. Later in April you will have the opportunity to help with a Beach Clean Up in the same area.

    We will travel up to the Shamal Roundabout, see directions below, then head over towards Umm Tays setting up camp on the mainland/ beach near Al Mafjar ruined village. The next morning we will break camp then wade across the narrow tidal lagoon mouth to the main sand islands. Folk will then have the option to picnic on the beach or walk along the length of the sand island in whole or in part.

    It is most important that folk realize they will get wet!! The water may for some be up to the top of the legs but there are no strong currents. Please dress accordingly and have footwear suitable to wear in water. You must have something on your feet as there, unfortunately, is rubbish including glass in the water as well as sharp shells.

    For crossing at high tide, remember to keep all electronic items out of the water, i.e. not in your shorts pockets.

    What to Bring:

    Those camping over will need to bring all their own personal camping gear plus food for the evening, breakfast for the next day as well as something for a picnic lunch. Plenty of water is essential for both days as it may well be very hot. Bring a water bottle for the trip to the island.

    Bring the usual sun block and sunhats as well as swimming gear. Best to have swimming gear on the lower half when we do the transverse over to the Island. Put T-shirts over the top and take a spare dry one. You may want to bring footwear for both the water and for walking in along the beach.

    Please try to gather up some wood so we can build a communal campfire, just a few off cuts from you local building sites. Get a cheap saw and cut them so they fit in your car.

    Remember: Firewood, Footwear, swimwear, water bottle

    Restrictions: 

    CAMPING:

    A 4 wheel drive vehicle is mandatory for those camping. If you wish to come and do not have a four wheel drive you must pre arrange a ride and organize to either meet your ride at the rendezvous and leave your car there or arrange a suitable place in Doha.

    Remember space is limited for vehicles loaded with camping gear and also that for families out for the weekend it is their precious family time and for others often the only break they get from often exhausting schedules and do not necessarily want others to join them in the car.

    DAYTRIPPERS:

    Those who do not have a 4 wheel drive can leave their cars, if necessary, in the Shamal car park and get a ride in a 4 wheel. We will check on the Friday as it may be possible for the cars to drive in. It really will depend on the weather prior to the trip.

    Other Preparations/Concerns:

    We will be travelling over some softish sand. The terrain should be handled by most medium to large size SUVs but ensure you have a good spare tyre at correct pressure in case of a puncture.

    Make sure that your 4-wheel drive vehicle is in good running condition. Double-check equipment, top off the gas/petrol tank, and generally get ready to go at least the night before departure. There will be no petrol available after the rendezvous. You must be fully ready.

    A NOTE TO PET OWNERS:

    Although spending time outdoors with your pet is enjoyable, camping with a large number of people who don't know your friendly dog, or curious cat, or stubborn water buffalo is not necessarily so, especially if others bring non-compatible animals. 

                  Leave your pets at home for this trip. 

    A 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.

    Rendezvous & Times:

    Place:   Al Shamal Roundabout

    Date:              26th/27th March

    CAMPERS

    Meet:               2:30 PM Friday 26thMarch

    Depart:            3:00 PM Friday 26th

    Return:            Saturday 27th afternoon

    DAYTRIPPERS

    Meet:               9:00 AM Saturday 27th March

    Depart:            9:30 AM Saturday 27th March

    Return:            Saturday 27th afternoon

    Directions:

    Go north along the Shamal Road from Landmark Mall in Doha 97 km, or one hour, until the expressway ends at a roundabout (RA). Turn right at the RA, and then take an immediate right into the parking lot bordering the RA. We will meet there and drive together to Umm Tays.

    Map attached.

    http://www.qnhg.org/Rambles/Umm_Tays.

     Price per Participant: Free

    Organizer(s): Mike and Bronwyn Donaldson
    Email:  bronwyndonaldson@gmail.com

    Phone: 318.7652 - No calls after 9pm