Well, a slight change of plan for us. We were originally going to be back in Muscat for only about eight days before heading on down the coast of Oman for the exit port of Salalah. Now we will be in Muscat for both Christmas and the New Year. We have been making contact with different rally groups with regards transiting the Gulf of Aden, to find they really don’t start moving in that area till early February, so, at this stage we have put our names down with one of these groups. Therefore we have postpone moving out of Muscat till early in the New Year to start the trip south. It is a 1,000nm run to Salalah, and we want to stop off and visit towns villages and bays along the way. Also
everyone tells us the fishing will be great the further south we get. Really looking forward to that.
We have been staying with our friends Millie and Ali who are from Kenya. They have a lovely big house and have made us most welcome. In fact we are now house sitting for them as they have just left for Goa in India to spend Christmas and New Year there. They did not want to leave the place empty so it has worked out very well for all. They have also left us a Mercedes to drive around in. Then to top this all off I made contact with another friend here whom I met in 2000 and she has invited us to have Christmas dinner with them. People have been so kind. We also have our good friends Peter and Yai here who have been very kind helping us out.
So our time here in Muscat to date has been fabulous. We were in the United Arab Emirates for their 39th National Day, and here in Oman for their 40th National Day. Also the Sultans 70th Birthday. Celebrations are still going on. One of the festivals they have just had, was the first World Fireworks Competition involving six countries at a total cost of US16 million courtesy of the Sultan. We were not in the country for the first two countries but saw the last four. Each country had a different night and put on a display for half an hour. It really was quite specular. The whole place came to a standstill on the nights they were held. The roads and motorways gridlocked. Cars just stopped on the motorways to watch. That would only happen in this part of the world!! It was held over the last couple of weeks. Then as it is the 40th National Day all of you who have been here can imagine what the place looks like. The whole place decorated in coloured lights. The gardens beautifully planted out and the place is spotlessly clean. It really is a picture.
We have the boat anchored back at the Capital Area Yacht Club and we return every second day to check on it. The other day we went on an overnight trip down to one of our favourite places – Bandra Khayran – to show Murray once again where we went in the 1980’s in our Nolex 25ft. trailer-sailer.
So once again we Wish You All A Very Merry Christmas and A Very Happy and Prosperous New Year.