Day 11: The Middle East Pivot

Day 11: Monday, 22 April 2019 – Abu Dhabi, UAE (24.4539° N, 54.3773° E)

Ahlan wa sahlan…Welcome to the consumer wonderland known as Abu Dhabi; the place were trophy building developments occur before the actual need for them—if you build it they will come philosophy. Cool when you have deep oil-rev pockets and only 12% of population are people that actually matter. But I regress… We were last here officially in 2015, although we know all the nooks and crannies of the AUH international airport…as it has served for years as our useful Middle Eastern pivot for us either heading to Europe, Africa or South Asia.

Today we are holed up for two nights at the wonderful St. Regis Abu Dhabi beachside of the Persian Gulf.

The bus they sent to transfer 23 passengers from the airport…seems they forgot about where to put our luggage!

This mornings opulent breakfast salved everyone from an arduous day yesterday and everyone is ready to go…

Quick Thought…Was thinking…ten places that didn’t exist not so many years ago…let’s say since the 70’s…Incheon, South Korea, an airport city of 3million+…every major development in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar…Brasilia, Brazil…and then thinking what will surive us in 3000 years…only things in the dry deserts…so Vegas, Dubai, etc…

Old Business:  The Road Officials have had time to go over all the peer reviewed hot & nasty 8-Hour Layover Challenge Leg (Par 1) in Bangkok scores…

7th Place = Transformed Travel Goddesses with 145 points

6th Place = SLO Folks with 235 points

Three-way tie for 3rd Place = Team Ying 2.0, The Fillies & Order & Chaos with 265 points each

Tie for 1st Place = Lawyers without Borders & Lazy Monday (who lost their book before leaving the airport…but recovered in time to find a real live elephant) with 270 points each

Congrats all on finishing the fourth leg…

Overall leaders after four completed legs (par 11 of 25 completed)…the overall top 3 teams on the 2019 – Leader Board 2 are:

The Elephant Shot that won the Team Challenge (again by Lazy Mondays…beginning to think it’s their thing.)

Three-Things I Learned from the RGN & BKK Legs: More is not our goal or our spirit…Quality matters over quantity…teams need to slow down and enjoy the experiences (between themselves and the places they are visiting), learn from the people the meet about what they are seeing and doing; experiences matter more than points. All good life lessons. We have 5 legs still worth 15 Par…so this is still anyone’s event to win.

Having fun with the Global Literacy Test…Question 4 a simple one: What is the average life expectancy of the world today?
A – 50 Years
B – 60 Years
C – 70 Years (No cheating…answer below)

New Business: Having arrived last night after a three country sprint from Yangon and Bangkok, we are really only in operation here for one full day, today. So we have put together a relatively easy nouveau riche Middle East urban adventure Par 2…with our check-in deadline tonight at 10:00 pm here in the hotel lobby.

5 Sample Abu Dhabi Scavenges:
-Ride the world’s fastest rollercoaster…
-Visit the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital and handle one…
-Kayak the mangroves of Abu Dhabi…
Visit the Louvre Abu Dhabi and find the world’s most expensive painting… 
Visit a Western fast food establishment (Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, Burger King, etc.), but eat something not on the normal American menu…

One Minute Interview with Barbara & Sally of The Fillies.

FYI…enjoy some of our 2019 team blogs, and social media posts:
Lawyers without Borders (blog) –
Order & Chaos (blog) –
Transformed Goddesses (blog) FB & Instagram links –
MargoPolos –  
Twitter fed – Margo’s (blog) Karen’s (blog)
The FILLIES (blog) FB + FB & Instagram links –
NEXUS (blog) –
Team Ying 2.0 (blog) –

An eerily beautiful phenomena of winter is the morning fog playing with the buildings

The amazing, Taj-like,  Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

They put gold leaf in coffees here…for a price.

Time for lunch…

Again…we try not to hit our readers/followers over the head about The Global Scavenger Hunt’s cause-related, charitable purposes, but this annual event raises funds for GreatEscape Foundation’s twin goals: building co-ed elementary schools in low & middle income nations, and distributing interest-free no-fee micro-loans to budding global entrepreneurs (mostly mothers). Both our methods of helping others help themselves are designed to facilitate their great escape from the cycle of poverty—one person at a time! Happily, we have improved the lives of thousands: building a dozen schools, a mid-wife training facility, and funding thousands of mothers wanting to make a better life for their families.

So, if you have it in your heart to not eat a lunch out this week in order to make a small secure PayPal GreatEscape Foundation donation during the course of the 2019 event, we know a lot of kids needing a basic education that would thank you. And we’ll thank you too…with a tax receipt. Thank you…shukran jazilann too!

The answer to question 4 of our Global Literacy is C – 70 years! There has been amazing progress in this regard as infant deaths are drastically reduced. Only 2 of our travelers answered correctly…Chimps now up 4-0!

See you all tonight at our 10:00PM Deadline Checkin…