The Ritz is nice. If you’re interested, I believe Coryn just uploaded a video to Youtube called “Lades Tour of Qatar, Room Tour of the Ritz” or something like that.
We went out for a ride this morning for our first look at the landscape. If Mars had roads, I’d imagine it to look something like this. It’s sand and rocks as far as the eye can see (which actually isn’t that far because of the haze from the dust in the air). The wind is strong. Our director says, “this is going to be the best 30k of your life followed by the worst 60k of your life, ” in reference to an awesome tail wind, a 90 degree turn, and a strong side wind.
The people seem very friendly enough. We got some friendly honks while we were out on our ride, and all the hotel staff smiles and is willing to talk. After the ride we were asked to pose in a couple pictures with people. In the hotel lobby, I asked a woman wearing the full burqua what she thought of us going around in our spandex. She replied that it was O.K. because it was “for sport” and you have to wear it to compete. I’d like to see more of the people, but there’s not much time for that.
I’ll try to update again soon.