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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
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 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 .. 21 Next page >>
Summit Summary
Binn Charrach: NE finger from the Twelve Bens offers a way in.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: simon3, scapania, wicklore 4 hours ago.
Knockpasheemore (Binn Charrach) is a small summit at the end of a 2km ridge heading NE from the lower scree slopes of Benbaun, and makes a worthwhile climb either in its own right, or as a diversi...

  
Summit Summary
Bencorrbeg: Shapely outlier, serious scrambling.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: simon3, Onzy 5 hours ago.
Bencorbeg dominates views from the mouth of the Gleninagh Valley. Although only 577m, the full extent of this height is seen when the mountain is viewed from north or east, as the mountain plunges...

  
Summit Comment
Oileán an Chlaí: Island in Bertraghboy Bay
simon3 3 days ago.
Oghly Island is around 250m from the driveable Inishnee island.

Track
Beast of Bencorrbeg tackled from the south.
simon3 3 days ago.
As many others have said Bencorrbeg is a serious scrambling challenge. This track was an attempt to reach it from the ... walk, Len: 14.0km, Climb: 669m, Area: Bencorrbeg, Twelve Bens (Ireland) Benco

  
Summit Comment
Lettershinna Hill: Grass top, distant heights.
simon3 3 days ago.
As paddyhillsbagger found, the Bens form a backdrop to the top of Lettershinna. This picture was taken during a generally mist covered period one May day.

  
Track
The Heights of Malta
madfrankie 3 days ago.
When you're considering hiking trips abroad, Malta is not likely to be high on anyone's list. It's small and the human f walk, Len: 8.4km, Climb: 40m, Area: Malta, Dingli ()

Summit Comment
Inis Leacan: Island south of Roundstone.
simon3 3 days ago.
Inishlacken is a small island south of Roundstone. Here it is viewed from Inishnee.

  
Track
Wicklow: Glenmalure to Glendalough
Onzy 3 days ago.
Glenmalure to Glendalough viw Wicklow Way & the Spinc... walk, Len: 11.3km, Climb: 540m, Area: Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland)

  
Summit Summary
Benglenisky: Southern Bens easiest way up.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: simon3 3 days ago.
Driving towards Clifden along the N59, go 2km past the Benlettery Hostel and take the minor road on the right. I.5km along this, at point L750 499, there is a large space for parking on the right,...

Track
Waterfalls Galore
march-fixer 3 days ago.
There are two major waterfalls in Jamaica. Dunn's River Falls and Reach Falls. Reach Falls is by far the most beautiful walk, Len: 6.2km, Climb: 109m, Area: Jamaica, Portland ()

  
Summit Comment
Binn Bhriocáin: Rocky top from afar.
simon3 3 days ago.
The rocky top of Letterbreckaun viewed from Bencorrbeg in the Twelve Bens which is 4.5km away.

  
Forum: General
Lough Curra - 14/05/2019 - 05:17
GSheehy 4 days ago.
There was white horses and they were comin' at me at a pace nowAnd there was a blue sirocco blowin' cold into my faceThe sun was risin' on the other side of the ridges.....And it was almost like T...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 21 Next page >>