Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Failaka Islands

This place has always been on the to-see-places in Kuwait, but had mixed responses when queried about. So we were in two minds until now, if we should actually make the trip, and if we did, would it be worthwhile. The reactions usually ranged from, 'yeah its fine, good..' sort of okeyish...or ' nothing much to see, just the ride on the boat and back, not all that good'. But having few days to kill, decided to go for it, come what may, and yes, we were not disappointed, thankfully.

Had to leave for the boarding point, quite early in the morning, and was surprised to see a huge crowd, groups, families, lugging baggages, cycles, and the general picnic paraphernalia. The place was actually teeming with people, jostling for want of space at the ticket booths, which set off the excitement to begin with. Then there was the wait for the boat or the barge to arrive, and the queueing in, to board. It was pretty well packed, and we just about managed to secure a place, on the open deck. It was a beautiful day, and it was wonderful to see the fading coastline, on one side and the vast expanse of open sea, on the other, as we gently bobbed along to the rhythm of the waves.

It was a almost an hour long ride, but it was fun observing people, the interesting sections of the barge, and of course catching up with friends, while clicking pictures. After landing on the island, we had to find means of transport to ferry us around the place. Settled for a mini bus, which could accomodate the whole group, and few more. Headed for the man-made lake, nearby and had our breakfast, as we were famished by then. Kids went on boat rides which included the kayaks too. The geese strutting around added some interest to the scene. Was oft reminded of the lakes and numerous boat rides of Kodai and Yercaud.

Next stop was the display of tanks and ammunition used during the Iraq attack way back in 1990. It gave an insight into the severity of the attack, and also the advanced machinery used during the war. Also visited some old buildings which had to bear the brunt of the brutal attack by Saddam Hussein and his men.
Time for lunch and we headed for a beach side resort-like arrangement. Children immediately headed for the beach, for a quick dip, to be followed by ride on the Water Scooter. Had awesome fun, as it was an exhilaratingly thrilling adventure, zooming at that speed. Ravenous stomachs were filled with the local fare of Shawarmas. Lounged for a while, played a round of cards and then headed back to the Barge, which took us back home.
It was a fairly eventful trip, unlike what many had predicted. Wonder why they didn't find the islands interesting enough. Maybe we are an easier lot to please!


Reflections said...

Your reservations on the trip reminds me of our long-pending trip to Mussandam. Everybody who goes there come back praising the place to the high skies. Lots of birds and sighting of dolphins are the specialities but somehow we've never been able to make it.

As to why they didnt like it....maybe they were not into history and geography just 'lets have fun' types;-D

Mathai said...

I think the last time I was in Failaka was in 1988 and I was 9 years old :)

vaidegi j said...

@ reflections

I would suggest you go and make the judgement, having done it! :)

@ mathai

OMG! that long back. with the restricted choice Kuwait has to offer, i would think Failaka is worth the trip, just for the experience.