26 March 2005

Easter Egg Hunt in the Desert

How do you keep chocolate eggs cold in the sand? How do you hide a basket of brightly coloured eggs in plain yellow sand dunes? All the questions we never had to address when we had our easter egg hunts in Germany.

This Easter we had visitors from India, who were keen to get out into the desert. So we combined the two events and had an easter egg hunt in the dunes. After Stuart had explained the significance of bunnies and eggs to the Christian tradition we arrived in Falaj al Mualla near Ras al Khaimah, an easy stretch of dunes near a camel race track, where the first-timers could thrash the cars through the dunes. After a while we found a shady spot under a stand of trees, perfect for lunch. While Stuart made tea, Anna went off to hide the easter egg boxes we had designed to withstand the gruelling desert conditions. The baskets had been stored in a cool box on the way out, to give the chocolate a fighting chance in the burning March temperatures. We had packed everything into individual tupperware boxes to keep out the sand and insects. The challenge was hiding these treats in the featureless dunes and under the few straggly bushes. Once this was done, everyone fanned out to find their easter egg box, as quickly as possible, before the chocolate bunnies dissolved or the beetles got in them. After much shouting and re-hiding of treats we finally got to scoff melting sweets and warmed up hard-boiled eggs with our tea and lunch. Divine!

So that was definitely one of the weirder Easter events of my life, not really comparable with our childhood trips shivering into a forest dripping with thaw, where we would invariably come back with fewer baskets than we took out with us, some always got lost in the dim darkness of the German woods.

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