The Wonder That is Oman ...

Went on a trip across the East Coast of Oman yesterday and fell in love with it..!!!
It was actually a pre-planned trip to travel to Ras-Al-Hadd to watch the Green Turtles, but we had decided that we shall cover as much ground as possible during that trip.

We started a bit late, and at around 11 AM we ended up at a non-descript Petrol Bunk with a coffees shop that contained almost nothing. The Petrol Bunk also had a small departmental store, where we bought some biscuits and water, as our guide cum Driver, had clearly instructed, that we might not be getting to anything to eat or drink on the way. Keeping that in mind, we made our arrangements accordingly. In about 30 minutes drive from the Restaurant, we landed in a beautiful Fishermen Village called Quriyat...

What a wonderful beach it was.. Trust me, I am not exaggerating... But If you've fallen in love with a girl, and want to make her say Yes to you... Bring her to Quriyat Beach... Get down on your knees and ask... She will be yours forever... Trust me.. she will be flattered.... !!!!

The Beach has been very very well maintained.. At least I rate it among the most cleanest beaches that I have ever seen till date.. Nature is generous here. I got to see so many rare birds that I hardly get to see in these commercialized beaches, in the city. The village itself is quite beautiful, and is very quiet. There is some diving activity and boating too, but those are private. The rocky dunes which have been built to keep the sea at bay, from the village, are too dangerous, and proper care must be taken. Don't make the mistake of wearing slippers/sandals ... You may well head for your own doom... The beach is one of the most pristine beaches I have seen.. You can see some pictures below.

After the Beach, it was time to move on, and our guide, brought us to the Salah Sink Hole. The beach is only 300 meters away from this sink hole, yet the water is clear, cool, and non-salty. You can guess the depth of the water from the pictures. The water level starts at about 50 meters from the sea level. The sink hole's diameter itself is close to a 100 meters. The road that leads to the Sink hole looks like a road that ends out into the sea, but in reality there is a road that is hidden from view, but runs in either directions :).

After the Sink Hole, our guide took us to a wonderful place, called the White Sands/White Sand Beach/Fins Beach. It was a like scene out of my dream. I have seen these kind of beaches, only in advertisements and "Malaysia Truly Asia" campaigns... :)
After an extended photo session at this place, we were contemplating whether to spend some more time at the Fins Beach. But our guide suggested otherwise. And I really appreciate his insights. He took us to another rocky terrain, that overlooked the Arabian Sea. Really wonderful view and good spot for a photo session. :)

This was followed by a long drive. On the way, we encountered the Wadi Tiwi and Wadi Saab. Our guide explained to us, that it was a Wadi/Canyon across the mountains, with a river like water body. You had to walk some 4 kilometers beside the river, and then you come to a point, where you have to swim, across the pool of water, for about 10 minutes. Another 10 minutes of cross country walk again, it leads to a mountain, with a hole big enough for a man to pass through. Inside that there is enough space to crawl, and after that, the hole widens out enough, and then there is a Waterfall and a natural swimming pool , inside the mountain. We were really surprised by the description. It looked right out of Phantom Comics. (For the uninitiated, Phantom, the Ghost Who Walks, lives in a place, to access which, the above mentioned steps have to be followed)

After this we went straight to the city of Sur. Before we reached the Sur Port, the sunset had started, hence took some pictures on the road. Fell in love with the Sunset !!! One of the most beautiful ones that I have seen in recent times. Then we reached Sur Port, where we had some snacks and hot tea. It was about 5:30. Our guide told us, that it would be ideal to start from the Port at around 6:30.. Hence we spent some time on Sur Beach. No visibility though, owing to the fact, that sunset was already over. But the lighthouse was beautifully lit.

We then started for the Ras-Al-Jins, (Not Ras-Al-Hadd..!!). After we registered, the receptionist asked us to wait, for some time. Our guide came and took us for the watch. No Cameras were allowed, hence nothing could be done about it. But the beach was wonderful, throw in the 'almost' full moon. It was one of the most beautiful sights that I have seen.

The return journey was more quiet, with almost everybody asleep. We covered the return journey in less than 3 hours flat, thanks to our Driver cum Guide... Since we were 6, the cost of the journey was shared and reasonable. Under any circumstances, it was worth it, for both the distance and the experience itself.

I was both happy and glad...
Happy and blessed that God had given me the vision to see these scenes..
Sad that my H10 couldn't completely capture all of it... :)

Truly, a wonder called Oman... !!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009 by Hari
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