Sunday, December 23, 2012

Doha Desert

I was sent to Doha, Qatar to attend COP 18 for work. I'm sure by now you've heard that the negotiations at COP 18 crashed and burned, but I wasn't really there for that.  I mean, we always hope they will go well, actually better than well, but we are realistic.  And so we attend for side events and meetings.  And because everyone who does anything regarding climate change is there, you end up having loads of meetings and not so much personal time.  But you know me, and I like to try to carve out some time to see something of a place.

The desert was my goal for this trip.  So my coworkers and I planned a trip to the desert.  And then the COP organizers decided that was a good idea too, and moved the NGO party to the desert.  Unfortunately, this meant traveling more than an hour to get there from the Expo Center (and it was about 45 minutes from our hotel to there).  And then to add insult to injury, they had one toilet for us!  Hundreds of women drinking and there was one toilet.  Um, thanks.


Obviously the camels were my favorite part...





And then, after getting back to the hotel at 3:00 a.m. we got up early and headed back to the exact same place we had the party. The driver lower the air in the tires of our SUV and we skidded off over the dunes. Don't worry, the irony of working on reducing carbon emissions and then taking this trip, was not lost on us.

And the ride was terrifying. But the desert is beautiful.




The crowd...

Beyond the water is Saudi Arabia




And another camel