Jul 15

Oman 2014: Wadi bin Khalid; Dhow factory in Sur

Date: 29th October 2014

Today was our last day in beautiful Oman. And we still had lot’s to see before our flight at night! So after an early wake-up call, we had a quick breakfast.

Omani breakfast buffet

On offer was a ‘dosa’ made of maida (unrefined flour) and yellow daal (lentil curry) among other dishes

Breakfast in Oman

Didn’t eat “much” because we really had to leave the desert camp soon

When we all collected our bags, checked out and made our way to the jeep, our driver Majjid was in a sleepless state. He was out all night with a group of drivers in search of an SUV that had gotten lost in the desert! :( It was one of their friends along with a group of elderly tourists, and they lost communication with them after a few hours (phone batteries must have died).

Fortunately they found the group… but only today morning. They found them after the driver burned one of the tires and used the smoke to pinpoint their location. It was tragic to hear considering the elderly tourists were weak and had to be taken to the hospital.

But despite the lack of sleep, Majjid had to stick to his job and take us around.

Sharqiya dessert camel Oman

When we left Oryx camp, I mounted the GoPro on the hood of the Prado once again

Here’s a video of our drive to the bedouin home Majjid wanted to show us on the way (some segments have been sped up):

Bedouin camp Oman desert

That’s the Bedouin home down there. Imagine living out here.

Sand dune desert Oman

This is your only view

Inside a bedouin tent Oman

We got down from the dune and entered the Bedouin home

Bedouin tent Oman desert

We sat down to have some tea with the hosts

Omani tea Bedouin carpet

It wasn’t sweet

Bedouin straw tent Oman

None of the modern comforts… except for mobile phones

Bedouin tent display artifacts Oman

But they had this home decked out for tourists

Goat walking Sharqiya desert Oman

Outside, there’s not much else around here

Beetle footsteps desert Oman

Besides desert bugs…

Goats Oman desert

And goats (and lots of goat poop in the sand)

Bedouin tent Oman desert dunes panorama

Here’s a panorama of where we were

Before we left the Sharqiya sands, we did some more dune climbing:

Mithun inside Prado Oman

One group selfie from the inside

It was time to say goodbye to the sand dunes and return to tarmac.

Garage mechanic Oman

Back in town, we returned to the garage to fill air back into the tyres

Oman desert highway

Off to our next destination

Wadi Bani Khalid highway Oman

We were on the mountain highway heading to Wadi Bani Khalid, a very popular oasis

The drive was an another uphill-downhill drive. So I made a video of it:

Wadi Bani Khalid entrance Oman

Majjid dropped us at the parking area and told us we had 30 minutes here

Tall grass Wadi Bani Khaled Oman

We had to walk some 5 minutes to get to the wadi (oasis)

Water canal Wadi Bani Khalid Oman

Don’t know if this water canal was flowing into the oasis

Oasis in Oman

Beautiful isn’t it? But this isn’t it

Wadi bani khalid panorama Oman

This is a panorama showing how big Wadi Bani Khalid is!

Wadi bani khalid rules Oman

There are rules to follow

Wadi bani khaled rocks Oman

There was a bit to explore… but not enough time :(

Muqal cave Wadi Bani Khalid Oman

If you have the time, you could explore the caves here too and go for a trek

Caves Wadi Bani Khalid Oman

Wadi Bani Khalid seems like a good place for an adventure

Wadi Bani Khalid canal Oman

I would have liked to know how far this stream flowed

Diving Wadi Bani Khalid Oman

We didn’t even get time to get in the water :(

Swimming Wadi Bani Khalid water Oman

It’s not too deep

Fishes Wadi bani khalid Oman

I took this underwater photo using my GoPro

Lake Wadi Bani Khalid Oman

I walked back


As soon as I reached the parking lot, the skies had changed

Mountain range highway Oman

Oman seems like the best country in the Middle East for road trips. It’s perfect for scenic journeys.

Oman highway panorama

It rained on the drive back. We stopped along the highway for a toilet break

Empty park Oman village

It was at a public park… which was hauntingly empty

We reached the town of Sur by lunch time. We were here to stop by a dhow factory. (A dhow is a traditional Arabian boat)

Sur road after rain Oman

There was a typhoon passing through Oman. It was raining in Sur… a lot more.

Dhow factory Sur Oman

Despite the rains, we made a dash for the factory while Majjid waited in the Prado

Wood dhow factory Oman

Really more of workshop than a factory

Making dhow Sur Oman

And there wasn’t much work going on either due to the rain

Dhow factory sur river

The dhow factory was by the river

Sur bridge Oman

That’s the Khor Al Batah bridge

Dhow sur river Oman

A lot more boats were supposed to be seen docked by the river… but we didn’t see many

Sur beach typhoon Oman

We ran back to our jeep and drove off to Sur beach road. Look at the sea!

Sur beach panorama Oman

We stopped to take a few photos

Sur town during rain Oman

We had to leave Sur before the weather worsened

New Sur restaurant Nizwa Oman

For lunch, we made a quick stop at this eatery

Fish biriyani Sur Oman

It was nothing fancy. Run by Keralites (surprise, surprise). I had fish biriyani.

Majjid tired Sur restaurant

Poor Majjid was really tired

After lunch, we left Sur through its flooded roads and made our way back to Muscat. And what drive that was! That’s the next, and final post.

Previous posts in this series:

Oman 2014: Jebel al Akhdar; dune bashing and overnight camp in Wahiba Sands

Oman 2014: Misfah and Jebel Shams

Oman 2014: Nizwa Fort and Jabreen Castle

Oman 2014: Sultan Qaboos mosque (Muscat’s Grand Mosque)

Oman 2014: Muscat bay viewpoints, Qurum beach, The Cave restaurant

Oman 2014: Dolphin watching tour in Muscat

Oman 2014: Landing in Muscat; Al Alam Palace, Mutrah souq and more

Jun 15

Oman 2014: Jebel al Akhdar; dune bashing and overnight camp in Wahiba Sands

Date: 28th October, 2014

Yesterday was a very eventful day. It began at the Grand Mosque of Muscat, then to Nizwa, before ending our evening at Jebel Shams. After a good night’s sleep, I awoke to a chilly morning.

Jebel Shams hills drive Oman

We checked out of Jebel Shams Resort after a quick breakfast

Jebel Shams highway Oman

We were back on the highway, and it gave me an opportunity to take in the sights I missed on the way up (because I was asleep on the ride up yesterday)

Dry river Oman mountains

Dried up river?

Security check Jabal al Akhdar Oman

We reached a security crossing en route to Jebel Al Akhdar. The check was mostly to see if our vehicles were fit enough for the next uphill ride

Uphill road Jebel al Akhdar Oman

Because it was one heck of an uphill climb!

Downhill highway Jebal al Akhdar Oman

And then downhill… and up again

Jebel al Akdhar panorama Oman

This is the view of Jebel al Akdhar we came for

Continue reading “Oman 2014: Jebel al Akhdar; dune bashing and overnight camp in Wahiba Sands” »

May 15

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Boat entering Sabang Underground river Palawan Philippines

This photo was taken when I visited the Underground River in 2011

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