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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
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kernowclimber
2011-05-20 21:33:34
"Abandoned Village, Wadi Ghul Balcony Walk" from kernowclimber Contract pics
Picture: Abandoned Village, Wadi Ghul Balcony Walk (Contract 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 .. 16 Next page >>
Forum: General
MOUNTAINVIEWS MEMBERS MEET APRIL 2018
liz50 a day ago.
It is this Saturday 28th April! Visiting some of the lesser know summits in the Galtees, including Temple Hill and Lyracappal. If you would like to join us please contact Liz at elizabethashton201...

  
Summit Comment
Galtybeg: One of those rare perfect days
jackill a day ago.
Every once in a while comes a rare day when everything just works, even though it shouldn't.Dodgy back, banjaxed knees, starting time silly o'clock, have to be home by noon to evict the crows from...

  
User profile
derkelly274
derkelly274 2 days ago.
Enjoy climbing the odd hill. Hope to visit more and more.

Track
Nephin from the North....stunning views.
derkelly274 a day ago.
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Summit Comment
Lugduff: A high point on long ridge separating Glendalough from Glenmalure
Bunsen7 a day ago.
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Forum: General
An Alp for OAPs...
Colin Murphy 6 days ago.
If you an ageing hillwalker like myself who might have liked to bag an ‘Alp’ but are too long in the tooth to contemplate such an adventure, fear not, there is a simple little Austrian Alp you can...

Summit Comment
Camenabologue SE Top: Direct Route from Glenmalure
Bunsen7 a day ago.
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Track
Camenabologue SE
Bunsen7 4 days ago.
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Summit Comment
Bealick: Between two counties
Wilderness a day ago.
I approached this mountain from the North East ,coming from the Coomataggart mountains. When I got to the top I had to walk around for a few minutes to pinpoint the true summit; which I'm sure is...

Track
Mullaghcleevaun circuit
osullivanm 4 days ago.
A very pleasant circuit although some difficult ground between Duff Hill and the return to start of hike. walk, Len: 17.3km, Climb: 792m, Area: Black Hill, Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland) Blac...

  
Forum: General
MOUNTAINVIEWS MEMBERS MEET APRIL 2018
liz50 a week ago.
Not long now until the first Mountainviews members meet of 2018. We will be walking in the Galtee mountains on Saturday 28th April. If you are thinking of joining us and would like more details pl...

  
Summit Comment
Nephin: A looped climb from the North. Stunning views all around!
derkelly274 a day ago.
First time climbing Nephin for both myself and my friend. We decided to go at it from the North as it seemed like a more interesting prospect. There was access to the woods on the northern slope o...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 16 Next page >>