13 February 2011
Muscat to Salalah
Well we are on the move once more, this time making our way down the coast of Oman towards Salalah where we will join our convoy around mid-February. Our three and a half weeks in Muscat over the Christmas New Year period seem to pass very quickly. Christmas was lovely and the evening was spent with our English friends Annabelle and Blair Tame who had also invited five other guests which made for a fun evening. The dinner was magnificent, and Annabelle had decorated her home beautifully with all the Christmas trimmings.
We have now arrived safely in the port of Salalah in the south of Oman. What a magnificent journey we have had down the coast. A Thousand Golden Miles. It is such a diverse coastline, from magnificence mountains plummeting into the sea with hidden fjords and sheltered bays, incredible cliffs for miles which the winds of time have contorted into weird and wonderful shapes and colours, with shipwrecks at their base from days past, still visible. Then there were those miles of golden desert sand beaches, with high dunes in places behind, which meet the turquoise blue waters of the Arabian Sea. There were the ruins of ancient cities tombs and forts. The outer Islands were also on our list to visit and again we were not disappointed. Crystal clear clean waters where we snorkelled and swam. On the Halaniyat Islands (Kuria Muria Islands) we spent time beach combing finding broken crayfish pots. Alec and I managed to find enough bits to make one up including a length of rope and floats. We set it each night, but sadly I think they must be nearly all fished out as we had no luck, but it was fun trying. We also saw a lonesome sheep on the beach at the same Island so time was spent finding a container to fill with water for it and we also left it half a cabbage and some bread. Rather mad as we discovered it was eating a local bush which must have been giving it enough liquid as well as there was definitely no water on the Island. We visited Wadi Sharb – which translates to mean ‘gorge between cliffs’. It is a green wadi as the water flows all year. The sides of the ravine are lined with date palms and oleander bushes. The gorge comes out to the sea, and we anchored outside and took the kayak over the bar and up into the waters between the high cliffs. It was quite stunning.