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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 .. 18 Next page >>
Summit Comment
Divis: Great views
Wilderness 7 hours ago.
A lovely mountain with great extensive views of Ulster and Scotland. The car park lies south west of the Divis summit and is nearly 300 meters above sea level giving you an easier climb to the top...

  
Summit Comment
Knocknadobar: Great views
Wilderness 18 hours ago.
You can park your car on the west side of Knocknadobar either at Coonanna Harbour or the Pilgrims car park. I started my climb up Knocknadobar North Top from the harbour. The beginning of the clim...

  
Summit Comment
Croagh Patrick: Cold climb
Wilderness 18 hours ago.
I was wary of the dark hail clouds that kept hitting the mountain. Some of them looked thundery. Fortunately there was no lightning and a'lot of people about. When the clouds moved away the views ...

Track
Seefin SE Top from the South
peter1 a day ago.
This is a short route to take in the SE Top as I had missed it out on previous trips. It's not too difficult to find ... walk, Len: 6.1km, Climb: 261m, Area: Seefin South-East Top, Ballyhoura Mountai

  
Summit Comment
Gaugin Mountain: Clear morning
Wilderness 19 hours ago.
We started our climb up this mountain from the minor forest road (south of Gaugins summit). At the top we got one of the most clearest days I've ever seen. We could see all across Ulster: Cuilcagh...

  
Summit Comment
Snowdon - Yr Wyddfa: Romance and Reality
CaptainVertigo 2 days ago.
Peter O'Brien was an Irish lawyer and judge who served as Lord Chief Justice of Ireland between 1889 and 1913. In his lifetime he was universally known as Peter the Packer, due to the skill he had...

Summit Comment
Knocknacusha: Nice end to a day out.
muddyboots 3 days ago.
Similar to the other contributors, this is not a single summit day out. I did it after Colly. It's an hour or so with a coffee break. Start at the Ballaghasheen pass (spectacular drive in & out) a...

  
Track
Keeper Hill from Silvermines (Knockanroe Carpark)
caseyc481 5 days ago.
Wanted to climb Keeper Hill from the Silvermines side. Parked at Knockanroe carpark, walking downhill on fire road unt... walk, Len: 14.9km, Climb: 763m, Area: Keeper Hill, Shannon (Ireland) Keeper H

  
User profile
HoschIchenheim
HoschIchenheim 3 days ago.
I'm a Hillwalker from the South-West of Germany near the French town of Strasbourg. I'm mainly walking in the Alps, Vosges and Black Forest mountains. So far on two occasions I have been to Kerry,...

Forum: General
Feeling Blue
mcrtchly 3 days ago.
This is one of the most famous mountain views in Norway of the fishing village of Hamnøy, Lofoten islands with Fellshelltinden mountain (428m) in the background. The rust red cottages are old fish...

  
Summit Comment
Meenteog South-East Top: Really...when is a mountain a mountain
muddyboots 3 days ago.
I am sure like many of you, especially simoburn, that the addition of the Arderin Begs while technically needed, added loads more summits to climb. This one is, well, a real hard sell. I was tryin...

  
Summit Comment
Colly: Double entendre?
muddyboots 3 days ago.
This is a great quick summit- follow the farm track from the end of the road at Coomnaspeara. I met 2 farmers (one on the way up and the other on the descent. There are 2 farmhouses at the end of ...


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