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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.


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 25 Next page >>
Forum: General
Crazy Hounds
roscorrocket 2 hours ago.
Only getting round to posting this now, as other factors intervened, but last Friday (July 14th) when coming towards the end of a circuit of five of the Mournes seven sevens, I watched in amazemen...

  
Summit Comment
Curra Hill: Cloudy Climb
andreos97 3 hours ago.
Fantastic walk, personally feel it's best starting your approach from Glenbeigh village and heading up through the forest as it's quite well signposted. Once leaving the cover of the trees, we wer...

  
Track
Day 19 Germany Trip
simoburn 14 hours ago.
walk, Len: 18.6km, Climb: 1844m, Area: Germany, Bavaria ()

Summit Comment
Cnoc Lios Uachtair: Connemara in the round
fieldoptic a day ago.
An easy to access and navigate hill, well worth it for its central position and views in every direction. Park as previously suggested at L8530 4820 and head north east before swinging north. The ...

  
Track
Day 17 Germany Trip
simoburn 14 hours ago.
walk, Len: 25.3km, Climb: 1873m, Area: Germany, Bavaria ()

  
Summit Comment
Cnoc Mordáin: Long Connemara Summer Evening
fieldoptic a day ago.
Though the road near L88003920 appears unfenced you will encounter a fence very soon after leaving the road. This fence extends along this back road, Bothar na Scrathóg and keeps cattle in typical...

Track
Day 16 Germany Trip
simoburn 14 hours ago.
walk, Len: 28.6km, Climb: 2693m, Area: Germany, Bavaria ()

  
Summit Comment
Ballinacorbeg: Worth a brief visit
Bunsen7 3 days ago.
Pleasantly surprised by this, could clearly see Lugnaquilla and Croaghanmoira, as well as numerous other summits, slightly awkward entry into the fields just west of the forest which don't appear ...

  
Track
Day 15 Germany Trip
simoburn 14 hours ago.
walk, Len: 22.0km, Climb: 1941m, Area: Germany, Bavaria ()

Summit Comment
Ballinafunshoge: Eastern View
Bunsen7 3 days ago.
Tree felling has opened up this view of the Vartry reservoir and the east coast from just below the summit of Ballinfunshoge. The Wicklow way runs left to right (southwards) just a few hundred met...

  
Track
Day 13 Germany Trip
simoburn 14 hours ago.
walk, Len: 16.5km, Climb: 1320m, Area: Austria, Vorarlberg ()

  
Forum: General
This just arrived today in the post...
ColinCallanan 12 hours ago.
Thought I'd treat myself to the printed version, and it's good we can support MV in this way. Looking forward to reading all the nice articles in print. There's something nice about reading "off-s...


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