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kernowclimber
2011-05-20 21:33:34
"Abandoned Village, Wadi Ghul Balcony Walk" from kernowclimber Expand pics
Abandoned Village, Wadi Ghul Balcony Walk (Expand pics)
Arabia's Hidden Treasure: Oman
Martin and I have just returned from another amazing trip to Oman, land of myth and legend, of a Thousand and One Nights, the Queen of Sheeba and Sinbad the Sailor; land of barren, majestic mountains, deep wadis and lush oases; harsh and aesthetically beautiful desert; of warm, crystal clear seas literally shimmering with tropical fish.

This time we climbed 2 via ferrate, trekked a precipitous ancient mule track along the Wadi Ghul (Oman’s Grand Canyon offering spectacular views and a picturesque abandoned village); trekked and swam up the beautiful Wadi Shab (canyon) from the coast where we camped on beaches for three days snorkelling and swimming, and also made a brief foray into the unforgiving arid environment of the Wahiba Sands in our jeep. The cost was absolutely minimal - we wild camped - and the 4X4 was even cheaper this trip by using a local company. In fact we’d spend almost as much on gasoline and parking in an average week commuting into Dublin from Wicklow and the food costs (on arrival we stocked up at Carrefour in Muscat) would shame Lidl and Tesco.

The sincerity, warmth and hospitality of the Omanis were fabulous just as we found the last time. For example, arriving at a wadi in the Al Hajar Mountains in the dark we discovered some people already there, their camp fire blazing. These were three friends from a local large town on a plain beneath the mountains who had travelled there to connect with their ancestral home. They saw us foraging for kindling wood to light our fire and immediately offered to share their wood with us even though we had brought our own. Next morning we were treated to Arabic coffee, dates and bananas with our new found friends. In broken Arabic and pidgin English we made conversation. They were very interested to know more about Ireland and answered all our questions about Oman and the Middle East with great honesty.

Inshallah, we plan to return to this amazing country later this year when the heat has subsided, to climb and kayak on/off the Musandam Peninsula, and to trek in the mountains of Dhofar and the Sticks in the mountains near the border with the UAE. Oman is Arabia’s hidden gem and is totally safe for Westerners. I feel absolutely confident leaving all my kit in full view in a jeep in a remote wadi for over 24 hours or camping out in a lonely spot far from civilisation where I feel 100% sure that no one will interfere with us. There are only the sounds of desert foxes and feral goats and donkeys to break the silence in the still of the night. The Milky Way shimmers overhead, the stars are hung like crystal apples in the purple firmament while the fragrant smoke of your fire perfumes the air, its glowing embers casting a welcoming glow and warmth about your camp.

If anyone is interested in going to Oman, please feel free to get in touch with us using the MV message service.


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Summit Comment
Truskmore: ACCESS PROBLEM at CLOONTYPRUGHLISH IG788 476
eflanaga 3 hours ago.
Earlier today I accompanied a friend, who is completing the County Tops, to climb onto Truskmore. Having previously summited from the Glencar and Tievebaun sides I suggested we go up by Eagles Roc...

  
Forum: General
Irish hill runners and the Spine Race
IainT 6 hours ago.
The Spine Race is a 268 mile run up the Pennine Way in the north of England, run every January, invariably featuring snowdrifts, gales and many miles of sucking bog, much of it run in the dark. It...

  
Track
Cadair Idris Circuit
Onzy 7 hours ago.
Route over Cadair Idris with a number of extensions. This descent is far from intuitive, largely untracked and involv... walk, Len: 14.7km, Climb: 1086m, Area: Craig Lwyd, Dolgellau to Machynlleth (B

Summit Comment
Slieve Binnian: New developments
Mrswoodlands 20 hours ago.
Climbed Binnion from the Carrick Little car park yesterday. We went up the Mourne wall as described by other contributers. While hugging the wall, as described, we noted a clear track not previous...

  
Summit Summary
Seefin Mountain E Top: Up the old bog road.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: melohara 4 days ago.
Car park space at R66276 16811. Over or around the gate and head uphill on a good track that crosses the hill near the summit.On the crest of the hill the summit cairn is over a wall to your right...

  
Track
Snowdon: Nantlle Ridge
Onzy 7 hours ago.
Nantlle Ridge route. Few blips in track - distance is about 20k, ascent 1,250 and time 7.30. walk, Len: 15.6km, Climb: 837m, Area: Y Garn, Snowdonia (Britain) Y Garn, Mynyd...

Summit Summary
Seefin Mountain W Top: Bog and rough ground.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: melohara 4 days ago.
Car park space at R66276 16811. Over or around the gate and head uphill on a good track that crosses the hill near the summit of Seefin Mountain East top.Follow the track on downhill from the cres...

  
Summit Summary
Seefin South-East Top: Seefin South East Top is easily visited
Collaborative entry Last edit by: melohara 4 days ago.
Seefin South East Top is easily visited from the track leading to Seefin Mountain East Top and Seefin Mountain West Top which starts st R66276 16811. Just follow the track to R65202 17892 from whe...

  
Track
Central Dingle Quartet from Anascaul
Bunsen7 2 days ago.
Follow the track from Anascaul lake car park northwards up onto the mountain plateau.Track leads northwards from lake... walk, Len: 15.8km, Climb: 949m, Area: Stradbally Mountain, Central Dingle (Ire

Summit Comment
Carnaween: The visitors book box near the summit
Aidy a week ago.
Just wanted to show the brilliantly constructed little box which contains the visitors book. It was too wet and windy on my visit to take it out and risk ruining it. A few shafts of light breaking...

  
Summit Comment
Carnaween: Bad Weather Adding Drama To Great Views
Aidy a week ago.
I used the commonly taken route from Disert Graveyard (worth a visit in its own right) over ground that was alternatively boggy or pretty steep. It was freezing cold in these parts, with a strong ...

  
Summit Comment
Corrin: A family stroll.
David-Guenot a week ago.
Climbed this hill in November 2014, with a friend who used to live in the area. Starting at the Coillte car park, we did a nice loop on the forest paths, circling around the hill in an anticlockwi...


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