Monday, June 1, 2015

Oman Adventure: Wadi Shab & the Omani Coast

Day Two of our awesome tour with Oman Day Tours we ventured far from Muscat and its sprawl of subcities, and headed to Wadi Shab for some hiking and swimming. We set out early to minimize our time in the midday heat, as temperatures are firmly rooted in the mid- to high-40Cs now (More than 110 degrees F). Despite the heat and intense sun, it was amazing and completely worth it!

Some things never change

Boat ride over to the trail head

Into the wadi we go

Inescapable beauty all around

Our fantastic guide: Abdulla

Hold on!

Drying dates in the midday sun

There were part of the excursion where the trail on the ground ran out and we were required to swim. This was not a bad thing, as it was hot and the water was so perfect!

When the trail runs out, you swim!

If you didn't know that there was a cave at the end of the trail, you would never continue on, as you have to go underwater and through a crack to get to it. Apparently, most people don't know this and completely miss the best part of the hike! Fortunately, research informed me and Abdullah was all about making sure that we experienced it (Some tour will not take you this far, tell you about it, or lead you take note if you are interested in going!).

The cave at the end

There is a rope for climbing and jumping, a natural water slide carved in by the stream, and surrounding high walls to jump from.

Of course he HAD to jump

Our overheated group

After the hot walk back and cleaning up from our grossness, we ventured to a local hole-in-the-wall for a fantastic lunch of Indian cuisine. We took a very slow journey back to Muscat, venturing up the coastline, and on the beach. Sadly, none of us had the energy to ensure more heat and go swimming, but I already know that we will be going back to enjoy these incredible blue-green waters. The diving is also suppose to be awesome!

The amazing coast of Oman

Waters so blue

Waters so green

Omani love

Bimmah sinkhole
I cannot speak highly enough about the tour company or our guide (ask for him by name!). He was such an awesome representative for his country and culture, engaging in quite extensive and intensive. We were SO intrigued and fascinated about Omani traditions and expectations, as he was with our American ideals and ways-of-life.

For example:
He is planning on having a "much smaller family" due to economics and time, you know "only 5 or 6 kids".
His eyes almost popped out of his head when I told him I moved away from home when I was 18 (to go to college) and never moved back, even the time between college and marriage. That and Adam did not have to pay a dowry for me.
It was just all around one of the better trips that we have, though I honestly feel that I say this (and I do) about all of our trips for different reasons. That and it was only a 45 minute flight!

We are truly blessed to be able to enjoy all of this travel and the constant gratitude that fills me is overwhelming, granted we work VERY hard to be able to do this. The more we travel, the more I feel the need to travel. The need to see, to experience, to grow, to connect. We leave for Greece tomorrow morning and I am about to jump out of my own skin with anticipation.