Date: 27th October, 2014
Today was a long day. It began at the Grand Mosque before leaving Muscat. Then we drove to Nizwa and later to Jabreen Castle. Post lunch, we drove further into the mountains.
We drove uphill to get to Misfah
We parked and then went by foot
We walked through some village homes
We were going to the edge of this hill
We had 30 minutes to explore Misfah village, which is a settlement by the edge of the mountains
Misfah is a centuries old village
I didn’t see many villagers at their homes though
They had a neatly done water collection and distribution system throughout the village
The canals flow through some of the gardens and small farms here
I broke off from Manjulika and Aseem and ventured further down on my own
I walked down the mountain to see where this path would lead
It was a mystery to me
I was curious to know what was out there in the distance, but at the same time, I was worried I would wander too far off making it late for me to get back
I wondered was what in this cave… but didn’t have the time to explore
Aside from me, there was only this family for company. But neither of us dared to venture any further because we really didn’t know just how much farther the path was.
I walked back. The 30 minutes allotted to us was nearly up.
There were other tourist groups touring the village, but I couldn’t spot Aseem and Manjulika. Pretty certain they had already gone back.
I huffed and puffed as I rushed back to the jeep. As predicted, they were all waiting for me. I apologized for making them wait. Majjid then drove us to a view point from where we could get a full view of where we had just came from.
That’s Al Hamra village. Misfah is high up among those mountains.
Here’s a panorama
We set off for our final destination of the day — Jebel Shams. I don’t remember too much about the journey… because I fell asleep. I guess I was really tired by all the climbing up and down back at Misfah.
By the time my eyes were awoken, it was to gasps and “wows” heard from my co-passengers
We were up high. Really high.
We had reached Jebel Shams — the highest mountain in Oman
I doubt this photo will invoke the sheer scale of what I was looking at — but I tried
Jebel Shams is part of the Al Hajar mountain range
Maybe a stream flows through during rainy season?
I took this on my phone , the Sony Xperia Z1
There seemed to be a town or village far in the distance
Where I was standing was actually not the highest point of Jebel Shams. We were on the south summit. The highest point is there — the 3000 metre high North summit. It’s a restricted area, only occupied by Oman Army.
I asked someone to take a photo of me. Jebel Shams really was the best thing I saw today!
Just this fence prevent you from falling down below. So be careful, it’s a looooooooong way down.
As you can imagine, not a whole lot of people up here
But these goats were cute
It was now time to check in to our resort
A short drive from where we took photos is Jebel Shams Resort, one of only two resorts at the top of Jebel Shams (at the moment). The other being Sunset Resort.
We all got individual cabins. This is the ‘Sunset Chalet’ at Jebel Shams Resort.
Each cabin leads out to the open area from where you can watch the sun set and sun rise
This was around 6pm
There was a ladder which allowed me to climb atop my villa. Those are the tents, which are the other room options here.
Not a huge resort but up here, it’s good enough
I just hoped it wouldn’t rain
Darkness was near
We had just one night at the resort, so I used the free time we had before dinner to re-charge all my equipment and freshen up. Although Jebel Shams Resort has wi-fi, the internet signal was virtually non-existent and we all struggled to get connected.
There’s just one restaurant at Jebel Shams Resort, and this is it
It was a buffet dinner
I made sure I was going get my fix of pita bread and Arabian dips before leaving the country
It was freezing cold, so none of us felt like going in for a dip
When everybody else had gone to bed, I instead went outside my room and set up my tripod and camera to take some long exposure photos
I figured being up here, the skies would be clear enough to catch the stars
Unfortunately my shots were ruined by a car that switched on its headlights when I tried to capture star trails and two airplanes in the sky (the lines)
I didn’t stay out for too long as I was feeling really cold. I called it a night because we had to be up early tomorrow. From the mountains, we were going to spend tomorrow night in the desert sands.
Previous post(s) in this series:
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