Wow…Oman. Incredible. I am initially lost for words when i want to tell you all what a wonderful place it is!!
So, you might be asking why Oman?
Well, we initially wanted to go scuba diving in Egypt but changed our plans due to things being fairly unstable there right now. Then i was researching late one night ‘best scuba diving spots in the world’ and Oman came up! So that is that, and after a little more reading we booked our flights.
The flight from Zurich took a little over 6 hours, which for me is a piece of cake considering i have 24 hours ahead of me when i fly home to Australia!
We landed in the capital of Muscat and got a hire car for the next 10 days. To begin with we drove straight up into the mountains to an area called Jebel Akhdar where we spent 2 nights. Jebel Akhdar was very similar to that of the Grand Canyon in the USA. We did some hiking and got to explore some very small villages and even visit a rosewater plant (unfortunately they were not making any because its not the right season)
It was so nice that local people were so interested in us. It was quite obvious that they don’t see many western tourists there and were keen to come over for a chat.
From here we drove to Nizwa where we were reminded that we were definitely in the desert! It was 40 degrees in the city….we had been spoilt in the mountains where it was around 23 degrees both days.
In Nizwa we visited the Fort and also the Souq. The souq was extremely interesting. They had an area specifically for all fresh fruit and vegetables and then another area for small gifts and hand made pottery.
We didnt spend anymore time in Nizwa than to do these two things as we had to be in the desert for a night of camping….and it gets dark at 5.45pm so we had to fit a lot in to the day.
Unfortunately we got lost on our way to the desert camp and had to call to get them to pick us up. We had missed sunset and then had to follow the driver from the camp into the desert. It was approximately 20 minutes into the camp in thick sand. Our instructions were to accelerate constantly and don’t break when we hit a bump or hole. My boyfriend did amazingly well to get us there…especially since the driver was going very very fast!!
Arriving at the camp was pure bliss for me. Quite a stressful day after getting lost and also being 40 degrees. We were welcomed with our lovely tent and a cold beer! We then had a buffet dinner and had some live arabic music to keep us entertained. It was fantastic!!
The next morning we had organised with a driver to take us in a 4 x4 into the sand dunes. What an exciting experience….i havent been in a 4 x4 since i was a kid. So we had a fun few hours out in the sand, and got to see what it is like to live life as Bedouin.
I was quite interested in the Bedouin people and how life was for them. Our driver told us that they make their money from the camels they have and they race them. The racing camels are not allowed to roam around like ‘normal’ camels but must be kept in cages where they eat only honey. Honey gives them more strength to run faster instead of eating desert shrubs. A wining camel can earn the owner up to 100,000 swiss francs!
Bedouins also have electricity for air con and cable tv (quite amusing when you think they live in the middle of nowhere!)
Leaving the desert was really sad. I had such a wonderful but short stay.
Im going to leave it there, as there is so much more to tell about Oman…and part 2 will be up next week!