January 2010 Rambles and Field trips

 QNHG January 2010 Schedule


A message from the Rambles &Field Trips Coordinator:

A very Happy New Year to all!  It's time tojan end our rambling hiatus & get back to tripping - which means I've got to get off my butt & post this month's schedule - so here it is! Sorry for the delay!

 
We've a busy month planned, but we're always looking for new ideas, places to go, things to see and do. If you have an idea or suggestion for a trip, please contact me - if you approached me on a trip or at a meeting and I didn't get back to you, then that means I misplaced your suggestion somewhere in the aether and will need a quick prod from you to get me back on track. I'll keep a notebook with me from now on to stay more organized!

        Thanks in advance for your help!

                                                                            ~ Safe & fun travels,

                                                                                   John Tribuna

       

January Overview - See details below!

                       Friday 1st: No trip was planned - Happy New Year!

                       Friday 8th: Ramble - Umm Bab road fossil hunting, mid-south central area

                       Saturday 16th: Ramble - Fort Zubara/ruins picnic - northwest coastal area

                       Friday/Saturday 22nd & 23rd: Field Trip - Walkers Camp - southern area

                       Friday 29th: Ramble - Mesaieed Marshes - southeast coastal area


 

Friday, January 8th: Ramble - Off the Umm Bab road,

mid-south central area

 

Description:

We're gonna play in the dirt!  Okay, you don't have to if you don't want to, but there is a wonderful fossil rich site just a little way up from the Salwa Road on the way to Umm Bab that is easily accessible to all cars. It's a great place to have a picnic, too, so come along and spend a morning scrambling & rambling up, down, and around this series of step sided valleys.

 
If you want to see what kinds of fossils we can find, Google "Qatar field trip fossils" and you'll find a nifty 12 page description of a QNHG trip in November 2007 written by Jens-Ole Koch. Many of the fossils described can be found at this site - minus the sharks' teeth - but DO NOT follow the article's driving directions! They'll bring you to a very different location which, with some luck, is one we'll head off to later this season.

What to bring:

If you've never looked for fossils before, then you'll know the most important tools at your disposal are patience and a sharp eye. If you want to bring a trowel to dig around a bit, you're welcome to do so, but most of the fossils to be found will be laying out in plain site. With all of the recent rains, however, there may be abundant plant life, so any books on the flora & fauna may be handy - and especially any books on the local geology might be interesting, since we'll literally be up to our eyebrows in it!

 
As per usual, bring sun lotion, a hat, and water - lots of water - along with plenty of food. The valleys are a great place to stop for lunch, but we'll need to make our own shade/rain protection, so take an umbrella or tarp along, too.
 
Just a reminder - We will be in primitive conditions, so bring along any toiletries you may need. The facilities at Hyatt Plaza will be the last ones we see before entering the desert.

Other preparations/Concerns:

As mentioned in the reminder sent out this week, the sided of these shallow valleys are a bit steep and therefore deceptively treacherous. Be careful of your footing and watchful of children who may get themselves set for a tumble before they know it!

 
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:

None, really - just watch out for spots that may be a bit muddy due to the recent rains. If you bring your dog, just be considerate of your fellow QNHG members who may not be as comfortable around canines.

Date:    Friday, January 8th

Rendezvous & Times: Hyatt Plaza, under the large shopping cart.

        Meet:    8:00 AM

        Depart:  8:30 AM

Directions: GPS Coordinates: N25 03.635, E050 53.152

 
From Hyatt Plaza we will caravan down the Salwa Road to the Umm Bab exit, #68. From there we will drive about 16 kilometers towards Umm Bab, exiting at the gated dirt road on the right; it's just before the first off-ramp. Travel time should be slightly less than an hour. Once through the gate, we will bear to the left and drive in about a kilometer.

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, January 16th: Ramble - Fort Zubara/ruins picnic,

northwest coastal area

Description:

Since most of our trips have tended to hug the south and on Fridays lately, this is one to mix it up!

We'll head north, starting off with a visit to the reproduction/museum fort at Zubara, which is a fun place to hang around and see what the old fortress must have looked like in its heyday. We will then set off to the actual ruins of the original Fort Zubara, which is located nearby at a beautiful beach where we can wander and have a nice picnic lunch.

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 beach is a great place to stop for lunch, but unprotected - 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 the reproduction of 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!

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, January 16th

Rendezvous & Times:      Landmark Mall, Parking lot in front of TGIF restaurant
    Meet:    8:30 AM (Note the later time!!!!)
    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-Saturday January 22nd & 23rd: Field Trip - Walkers' Camp,

southern area

 
 
URGENT:
Anyone who intends to go on the camping trip and has spare seats in vehicles, could you please E-mail Bronwyn indicating the number of seats and the area of town in which you live: bronwyndonaldson@gmail.com

This will be a big help in planning this trip!!!

 

Description:     

All are welcome! This camp will be a trek into the south part of Qatar through Zarqa and Shaqraa. We will drive through the open gravel plains as well as dunes, sabkha and on the Saturday visit the extensive old shore line. The walks will also involve all of these desert features.

 
There will be two walks, each of approximately 5km. One will be in the late afternoon on Friday and one the next morning. Each will take us to quite different locations with a variety of scenery. The camp will be on the edge of a large dune near Shaqraa where there are signs of many desert creatures. We hope you will choose to do both walks, but if not you should be able to enjoy the ambience of a desert camp.


What to Bring:

The usual camping gear for your family, plus plenty of water. You will need food for lunch, dinner and breakfast - and lunch for the second day. Make sure you bring a torch/flashlight, have good walking shoes, a water bottle and sunblock. At this time of the year it can get quite cool in the desert at night, so be prepared.

 
Please try to gather up some wood so we can build a communal campfire. There is no dead wood in this part of the desert.


Restrictions: 

A 4 wheel Drive Vehicle is mandatory. If you wish to come and do not have a four wheel drive, bring your car to the rendezvue and it can be left there and you returned to your car the next day. If it is possible, try to pre arrange a ride. (See below.) If you can’t, turn up on the day but remember space is limited for vehicles loaded with camping gear. Those with spare seats/ wanting seats - let Bronwyn know. 


Other Preparations/Concerns:

We will be travelling over some rocky tracks as well as some softish sand. If you have not driven on soft sand, please try to go to the sand driving lessons before.

          Note: we will also give full instructions on the day.

 
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 rendezvue. You must be fully ready.
 
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.


Date:       Friday and Saturday, January 22nd & 23rd

Rendezvous & Times: Al Wakrah (See directions below.)

          Meet:         11:00 AM, Friday 22nd

          Depart:       11:30 AM

          Return:       Early afternoon, Saturday 23rd

Directions:

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

          At 1st Roundabout after the petrol station go straight.

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

          At 3rd Roundabout go straight. After 20 metres turn left onto an unpaved area.

          ***We have a dark Red Pajero, so look out for us. Shops border this area, (Beauty Salon), so cars can be left here.

 

Price per Participant: Free

Organizer(s): Mike and Bronwyn Donaldson. We will be away  till 10th January. After that please contact us if necessary as below.

          Email:  bronwyndonaldson@gmail.com

          Phone: 3187652

*Send an email if you have spare seats, or need a seat, and we will do our best to fit all in.*



 

Friday 29th: Ramble - Mesaieed Marshes,

southeast coastal area

Description:

Spend the morning wandering the beautiful, lush marshes south of Mesaieed and see the myriad of wildlife that occupies the land, sea, and air in this relatively isolated area.


What to bring:

Be prepared for a day at the beach, but remember the weather is iffy this time of year! be prepared for either rain or shine. Bring a pair of binoculars, as we might not be able to get very close to any wild 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.


Restrictions:

Usually any car can access the beach areas, but this may change if there is too much rain. Keep checking this QNHG site for updates on driving conditions.


Other Preparations/Concerns:

Usually this is a great place to bring dogs, but make sure you take into account the concerns of people on our trip who are less than comfortable around our furry friends. It's a great place for children, too, but with the natural hazards of water, parents need to keep a wary eye.

 
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.


Date:           Friday, January 29th

Rendezvous & Time: Hummer & Cadillac Dealership, Al Wakra, Al Wakra Road

        Meet:     8:00 AM

        Depart:  8:30 AM

Directions:

To get to the Hummer & Cadillac Dealership in Al Wakra, take the Al Wakra Highway from Doha. The dealership is on the right side of the road as you travel south, at the intersection/corner of the road and the first RA in Al Wakra. We will organize and caravan to the Mesaieed marshes from this rendezvous.


Price per Adult: Free

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

Organizer: Parag Parelkar - please send texts to 559.5245; no calls during business hours, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM.