High and dry... Plymouth diver Tom Daley swaps water for sand
PLYMOUTH'S medal-winning poster boy Tom Daley took a well-deserved break from competition to ride camels and sand-buggies in the Middle East.
As he headed back from Australia where he clinched two gold medals in the World Junior Championships Tom enjoyed a stopover in the United Arab Emirates.
After the summer's hectic schedule, during which he also memorably scooped an Olympic bronze medal in the 10 Metre Men's Platform, Tom went to a holiday resort close to Abu Dhabi.
Tom said: "It's like a mini world and feels like your own personal oasis.
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"It's quite a strange sensation to be driving in the vast desert and seeing how the endless sand makes crazy-shaped dunes. It's very traditional, beautiful and it all really fits the culture of Abu Dhabi. It's a perfect retreat to chill out and just get away from it all - there's total peace and serenity. It's been a great experience."
Team GB's Olympic hero was spotted sporting a ghutra, the traditional Emirati headwear, whilst enjoying a number of leisure activities including sand-boarding, dune bashing and quad-biking.
Tom said: "I'd never ridden a camel before so that was amazing; sand-boarding is unlike anything I have ever tried and driving through the dunes in a 4x4 was so much fun.
"I always thought the desert would be harsh, but it's like a never-ending playground."