After leaving the desert we headed towards a coastal town called Sur. On the way we made a side trip to a place called Wadi Shab. Wadi is effectively a valley in Arabic. Wadi Shab was quite a trek but apparently well worth it….so we arrived and packed our little backpacks for the 1 hour hike into the mountains.
We underestimated how hot and how difficult it would be and i really struggled to get there. It was around 40 degrees that day, and despite wearing a large hat i was suffering with the heat.
At one point i wanted to turn back, but my boyfriend had other ideas!! When we made it to the first pool…i literally tore off my clothes down to my swimmers and jumped in. What a relief!
After the first pool we needed to leave our things behind and continue just with our swimmers and a good pair of shoes as there would be some climbing on slippery rocks. We continued to the next pool and met some people who told us that the ‘cave’ was just around the corner. I could see my boyfriends eyes light up, when all i really want to do was enjoy the cool water i was in.
I had come this far, so i decided to head on towards the cave. The only way into the cave is through a very narrow break in the rocks. You can only just keep your head above water enough to get in. You could hear the waterfalls inside but couldn’t see anything because it was too dark.
We only spent a short time in the cave as there was nowhere to stand…..you had to tread water the entire time, which was tough considering it was also quite rough in there!!
We were quite exhausted after leaving the Wadi and arrived into Sur later than we expected.
I imagined Sur to be this beautiful beach front town with lots of shops and restaurants but was very different to this. The Corniche was actually a quiet beach front street with men sitting in groups talking and playing cards. I imagined that if there were an area like this in Sydney it would be filled with cafes and people drinking wine and beer. But life in Oman is just so different. Men go out with men and women go out with women. We rarely saw them mingling, and most of the time in the evening its the men out while the women are at home with the children.
The main shopping area was located further back from the beach and was buzzing with people.
The next morning we decided to come back to the beach to see what it was like during the day and it was very different. Quite a cute little area. We also explored some of the Dhow yards, as Sur was where the original dhows were made!
After our little exploration of the original boats, we drove to Muscat where we were spending 5 nights.
Arriving into Muscat was scary!!! People really are crazy drivers, and we came so close to having an accident. It’s not only the way people drive but its how fast they drive. I was sooo unbelievably happy to get to the hotel and not have to drive for the next few days.
Our time in Muscat was fantastic! We spent our first 3 days scuba diving in the Diminyat Islands. This was the highlight of the trip for me, because for the first time i got to dive with turtles and a whale shark!
We took some time to explore the city and looked around the Souq and also the Grand Mosque. The Grand Mosque was a big highlight for me. This was my first visit to a mosque and the dress code was very strict. I had to be totally covered. No neck or hair showing.
This is the only mosque in Oman that you can visit if you are not Muslim.
It was magical being there and looking into life inside the Mosque. The prayers rooms were breathtaking, and materials had been shipped from all over the world. The windows from France, the stone from India, the timber from Burma and a massive rug from Iran….and the list goes on!
I hope you enjoy my photos from Oman. My trip here was one of my best and favourite travel experiences also.