Date: October 26, 2014
We all woke up early today as we had to be at Marina Bandar Al Rowdha by around 8am. First up, it was breakfast at the
hotel. Radisson Blu
This was just the breads section. Also had fresh pistachios, almonds, cashews, walnuts and a variety of bread spreads.
The cold meats and fruits counter. On the other side, there were other traditional breakfast dishes, puri-bhaji, omlette counter, corn flakes and a whole variety of hot & cold drinks on offer. All in all, a huge breakfast buffet!
I started off with some croissants. Too bad we didn’t have enough time to sample everything in the buffet.
After breakfast, we were picked up by our driver.
We were on our way to Muscat City again
The marina looked lovely early in the morning
I missed roundabouts of the Gulf 🙂
We stopped at a petrol station to fill up and pick up some water bottles. Being in a GCC country, I just had to take a photo of how much petrol costs out here. Regular costs 0.114 riyals, which is Rs. 18 ($0.30/€0.25) per litre!
It was a fairly long drive to Marina Bandar Al Rowdha
I was impressed at how well-manicured the lawns along the highways were
We reached Marina Bandar Al Rowdha and were assigned a boat
This was our boat
The boat was full of mostly Indian tourists
Took some photos using the GoPro
Let the cruising begin!
It wasn’t long before the boat slowed down because we spotted what seemed to be dolphins
We were told the type of dolphins that frequent these waters were Bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, and Spinner dolphins
The dolphins were starting to appear much closer to us
This boatman seemed to be drawing a line through the waters and dolphins were chasing him. Feed for the dolphins?
There were dolphins all around!
The other side
I had to swap lenses for better zoom
They were all around us
Pft, attention seeker!
This photograph isn’t black and white… it just turned out that way
It was still early in the morning
We spotted quite a few spinners
There were at least 4 or 5 tour boats alongside ours
It was pretty awesome to see a pod of dolphins (yes, a group of dolphins is called a ‘pod,’ I had to check)
Don’t ask me what species they were
Muscat marina in the distance
We could see major ships now
You have a second to try and capture them the moment they jump out of the water
We spent nearly and hour spotting dolphins, and there wasn’t a singly long gap we waited to spot then. Right from the time we saw the first dolphin, it was a constant “oh, look there!” “hey, there are more on this side” and “wow, so many!”. We saw a lot of a dolphins, and it was a great experience.
The landmark Incense burner monument of Muscat
We had seen enough dolphins for today, so the boat turned around and next we were going towards some rock formations
On the way, we saw Al Alam Palace
And saw some other attractions along the way
Forgot the name of this fort
Then the boat sped up and we were all in awe of the scenery
A human head-shaped rock
And how appropriate is this? A dolphin-shaped rock 🙂
The water looked amazing!
Seemed like a good spot to fish too
A seaside cemetery
Oman truly has a beautiful coastline
We slowed down as we neared a fishing village
We didn’t have an English-speaking guide with us, so I could only remember little of what we were told about this place… which wasn’t much
Another rock formation in the shape of an animal. Can you guess which animal?
With our tour over, we returned to the marina
Luxury toys for the rich
Dhow, a traditional Arabian boat
We took a group selfie before leaving the docks
Offices for various tour companies and public restrooms are in this building
We found out that the dolphin watching tour usually costs OMR 15 (Rs.2400/$38/
€34) — and that’s for the 2-3 hours spent at sea spotting dolphins and other seaside attractions. But as it turns out, we were the lucky ones! We met another Indian group who told us they hardly saw any dolphins! Which was weird because they started at around the same time as us and I assumed, all the boats that were following us surely must have seen as many dolphins as we saw. Turns out, we were really fortunate.
Here’s a small video I took of the dolphins while we were out at sea:
Our tours for day wasn’t over though. The driver then took us high above to some viewpoints before lunch, but all that in the next post.
Next post(s) in this series:
Oman 2014: Day 2 (Part 2) – Muscat bay viewpoints, Qurum beach, The Cave restaurant
Oman 2014: Day 3 (Part 1) – Sultan Qaboos mosque (Muscat’s Grand Mosque)
Oman 2014: Day 3 (Part 2) – Oman 2014: Nizwa Fort and Jabreen Castle
Oman 2014: Day 3 (Part 3) – Oman 2014: Misfah and Jebel Shams
Oman 2014: Day 4 – Jebel al Akhdar; dune bashing and overnight camp in Wahiba Sands
Oman 2014: Day 5 (Part 1) – Wadi bin Khalid; Dhow factory in Sur
Previous post in this series:
Oman 2014: Landing in Muscat; Al Alam Palace, Mutrah souq and more