My eyes open to the sound of my alarm clock.
It’s still dark outside.
I take my early morning shower and finish with braiding my still wet hair.
The house is still, everyone is asleep, it’s 3:30 am after all.
I slide my legs into my eager green hunter boots, they stood idle for far too long.
My fingers tap the elevator button as I command it to take me to the lobby.
The doors open and I’m greeted by a young gentleman living, at that moment, my reversed life. I, just awoken and ready for an adventure. He, still up since yesterday and definitely ready to get to bed.
I flash my head lights outside my friends house which summons her out.
“Remind me why we’re up this early.” I ask my friend.
“Sunrise.” She response.
“Mmm, yes.” I remember.
Her Google Maps is set to Hatta Dam and my car is full of picnic essential.
In true expedited ETA, we are lurched onto the back roads of Dubai, where sand, occasional passing headlights and dense fog only reside.
We drive effortlessly along the calm road until, as if a switch has been pulled, the car is absorbed into a sticky, dense fog. It’s there I learn that headlights and fog are like decisions taken after 12 am, a bad idea.
Easing our way out out of the fog, in the horizon, we start to see silhouettes of dreamy brown beings reaching to the sky.
The sun has just started to rise, we park our car, I grab my camera and push open my door as I run towards the dam, will it be me or the sun who reaches first. I believe it’s a tie, but one that works out best for the both of us.
The sleeping peaks awake to their beautiful refections in the still water.
I whisper, “Good Morning.” to them and follow with, “I brought breakfast with me.”
We fluff open our picnic sheet as we take our seats on the ground. Berries, cheese bread and one of my favourites, my take on Tune Ceviche.
The apples give it a sweet crunch while the lime give it some pepper, while the jalapeños bring it alive.
Spanish tuna ceviche
- 2 large jars of Spanish tuna in oil
- 2 diced Pink Lady red apples – keep the peel on for contrast and colour
- 3 fresh jalapenos, thinly sliced in rounds
- 6 spring onions, finely sliced
- 4 limes, peeled and diced
- the juice of 2 limes, and 1 large lemon
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
Start by placing the drained and flaked tuna in a deep bowl, then adding the apples, jalapenos, onions, limes on top. Mix the olive oil and lime and lemon juices, and then add to the tuna mix, up to 4 hours before serving. Before serving, sprinkle with coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve with a rustic baguette – ideal for soaking up the juices.
We finish our breakfast and lay silently enjoying the stillness.
My Hunter boots hint their eagerness for swim. I take them through the shallow waters of the dam and I enjoy the perspective of its hight, this is definitely worth the 3:30 am wakeup.