And move we did. With some family ‘tourists’ in tow we managed to squeeze in just about everything that it took ourselves six months to do. However, there were one or two things that were new and exciting to us so, here we go…
Family and friends come to visit, not just to see us but also to experience the things they have read about on our blog. They too want to sample the delights of Oman, see some of the amazing countryside and get involved in some of the wacky activities such as night-time picnics, off-roading, dune-bashing, wadi drives, standing out in thunderstorms and eating what you would least expect.
In no particular order then, we stopped by the Sharqiyyah Desert for a taste of Middle Eastern adventure. In order to protect the ‘milky-white’ tourists from the blistering rays of the sun, floppy hats and a parasol were hastily purchased for no more than the price of a pint. Three large sun-hats and a green umbrella – bargain!
We pitched our brolley in the middle of nowhere and waited for the desert sunset. Sure enough, the sun went down and the oohs and aahs went up – the sun sank beneath the horizon highlighting a mucky atmosphere that could only be pollution.
And down it went.
Without further ado we headed for the car as the light was fading fast and we still had to find our Bedouin tent. Camels sauntered past presenting themselves for the perfect Christmas card photo you’ll all be getting this year.
A mad dash up the last dune caused me to miss, and everyone else to marvel at, a camel spider as it dashed across the sand in front of us. I really, really wanted to see one of these arachnids as they are fairly famous in these parts but highly elusive (google Camel Spider for yourselves). Disappointed at my loss, I entered our tent for the night, brushing aside the hoard of mosquitoes and ignoring the distinct ‘wet dog’ sort of smell. Living in a woollen tent isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, it was insanely hot during the heat of the day – truly a wilting experience.
A traditional meal of mutton, chicken and rice was our prelude to bedtime, it had cooled considerably after sunset so, after a good dousing with Deet, we slept fitfully until the sunshine woke us and the birds screeched their morning chorus. The tourists, as is their want, dashed off to do some fidgeting on a ship of the desert and to flirt with the owners – I dread to imagine their want!
Honestly, don’t they look just like gentry, gentle women travelling in foreign parts with a ton of luggage and and air of graciousness.
Big hats abroad!
That was pretty much our desert excursion and it was indeed a very genuine, ‘live in the desert’ sort of time – the temperature hit 36 degrees C ., the food was somewhat dodgy and the accommodation definitely suspect. Everyone had a good time before we left to negotiate the sand dunes back to the tarmac road.
After lots of sightseeing we headed for Wadi Bani Khalid which is the epitome of an Omani Wadi. Crystal clear waters running through sun bleached boulders with a waterfall here and there. Palm trees swaying gently and the sun beating it’s rays onto the back of our necks.
It really is idyllic and should you be so inclined, you can swim as far up the Wadi as the strength in your arms will take you. About 1km further up is a cave but we resolved to visit again when we had the correct footwear. It really is a matter of clambering over rocks and boulders to get where you need to go. We shall return…
Much else of what we did was going over old ground for us, immensely enjoyable, especially showing around some of the family. Our usual excursion to Salmah Plateau was made as well (check out the journey previously made on Youtube):
Unfortunately, heavy rains had caused much deterioration of the track both up the mountain and through the dry river bed on the other side. A brave attempt to negotiate the dry river bed almost ended in disaster as the car slipped sideways, front end first, down a hole surrounded by nothing but loose pebbles. It doesn’t matter how much 4×4 action you can employ, loose pebbles offer no traction whatsoever. I wonder if our guests knew how close they were to spending several days and nights in a dry river gorge waiting for help to come. No mobile phone reception, nobody to call and nobody living close by made for one exciting last ditch attempt at a low ratio reverse to freedom. It worked and I can certainly laugh about it now. We shall return there too…!
I guess that’s it. A good time was had by all. We crammed in as much as we possibly could and we hope our family visitors were not disappointed. If you’re out here next – boy-oh-boy do we have some shenanigans lined up for you.
‘Til we meet again,