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Matt set out to cl.. by simon3   (Show all posts)
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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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RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 19 Next page >>
Summit Comment
Crockmain: A Great Viewpoint
Aidy a few minutes ago.
The final summit of a day spent walking from Mamore Gap over Croaghcarragh and Urris Hills, back to the gap, then up to Mamore Hill and this peak. I had planned to continue to Raghtin More, but th...

  
Summit Comment
Mamore Hill: Part Of A Brilliant Ridge Of Hills
Aidy a few minutes ago.
Tackled after walking Croaghcarragh and Urris Hills on the other side of Mamore Gap, and before continuing on as far as Crockmain, this was one the best days I've spent in the hills. Even a bit of...

  
Summit Comment
Croaghcarragh: Seems Grander Than It Is
Aidy less than an hour ago.
Climbed on the way to the Urris HIlls from Mamore Gap, and like all the hills on both sides of the gap, I was captivated by the rugged terrain and the amazing views. All these hills have the feel ...

Summit Comment
Urris Hills: Magnificence Beyond Its Height
Aidy less than an hour ago.
I've had the group of hills around here on my list for a while, as it looks spectacular from other mountains, or from nearby along the coast, and it doesn't disappoint when you actually get up the...

  
Summit Comment
Brandon Hill: The Barrow way
Kennyj 2 hours ago.
Brandon hill viewed from St Mullins before starting the barrow way walk to graignemanagh,highly recommended,super views and peaceful surroundings.

  
Summit Comment
Lugnaquilla: A mountain with lots to offer!
Bunsen7 7 hours ago.
Since starting my hillwalking in 2015 I have been up Lug a number of times. Mostly it has been totally misted over by the time I reach or just after reaching the summit. Once it mists over the mou...

Summit Comment
Tonelagee NE Top: Onwards and upwards
Bunsen7 7 hours ago.
Most of the pictures uploaded rightly focus onview across the lake. This shows walkers assessing the route onwards to Tonelagee.

  
Forum: General
Are there new cairns in Wicklow
wwwalker a day ago.
Is it my imagination or are there some new cairns appearing in Wicklow recently. There are small ones at point 702 ( T043 980) marking the turn for the lugduff ridge and at T086 975) marking the d...

  
Summit Comment
Stoney Top: A haven of peace away from the multitudes!
Colin Murphy a day ago.
The final top on a pleasant 3-summit loop, taking in Tonelagee NE, Tonelagee and this, and then descending around the pretty Lough Ouler back to Glenmacnass carpark. The summit is a rounded bump i...

Track
Brockagh Tops
Bunsen7 a day ago.
Similar track to a number of others which I used for guidance. Parked at the forest entrance having turned up at the ... walk, Len: 14.5km, Climb: 517m, Area: Brockagh Mountain SE Top, Dublin/Wicklow

  
Summit Comment
Tonelagee NE Top: Barely recognisable as a separate top
Colin Murphy a day ago.
This is a handy one to bag on the way to Tonelagee, but it is so nondescript that many a walker has by-passed it without realising it is a top in itself. The summit is a broad, grassy area with no...

  
Summit Comment
Tonelagee: The perfect beginner's mountain
Colin Murphy a day ago.
Besides crossing Glenmacnass River at the start and end, (which has seen many an unfortunate walker ascend in soggy boots) Tonelagee is a pleasant and relatively easy climb from the carpark near t...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 19 Next page >>