Journeying through Oman: From Dunes to Beaches

Tripoto
15th Mar 2014
Photo of Journeying through Oman: From Dunes to Beaches 1/27 by Nandita Amin
Sultan Qaboos Mosque, Muscat... impressive!
Photo of Journeying through Oman: From Dunes to Beaches 2/27 by Nandita Amin
Inside the Grand Mosque, Muscat
Photo of Journeying through Oman: From Dunes to Beaches 3/27 by Nandita Amin
Stunning Stain Glass windows in the mosque
Photo of Journeying through Oman: From Dunes to Beaches 4/27 by Nandita Amin
Beautiful niches in the Mosque
Photo of Journeying through Oman: From Dunes to Beaches 5/27 by Nandita Amin
Niche in the Mosque
Photo of Journeying through Oman: From Dunes to Beaches 6/27 by Nandita Amin
Muttrah Souk, Muscat
Photo of Journeying through Oman: From Dunes to Beaches 7/27 by Nandita Amin
Jabreen Castle, Muscat
Photo of Journeying through Oman: From Dunes to Beaches 8/27 by Nandita Amin
In the Jabreen Castle
Photo of Journeying through Oman: From Dunes to Beaches 9/27 by Nandita Amin
On top, Jabreen Castle
Photo of Journeying through Oman: From Dunes to Beaches 10/27 by Nandita Amin
Ancient mountain village Misfat al Abreyeen
Photo of Journeying through Oman: From Dunes to Beaches 11/27 by Nandita Amin
Misfat al Abreyeen village
Photo of Journeying through Oman: From Dunes to Beaches 12/27 by Nandita Amin
Pristine Stone beach near Wadi Shab
Photo of Journeying through Oman: From Dunes to Beaches 13/27 by Nandita Amin
A load of Camels!
Photo of Journeying through Oman: From Dunes to Beaches 14/27 by Nandita Amin
Jebel Shams, canyon
Photo of Journeying through Oman: From Dunes to Beaches 15/27 by Nandita Amin
near Jebel Shams
Photo of Journeying through Oman: From Dunes to Beaches 16/27 by Nandita Amin
Al Sharqiya Sands.
Photo of Journeying through Oman: From Dunes to Beaches 17/27 by Nandita Amin
Dune bashing, Al Sharqiya Sands
Photo of Journeying through Oman: From Dunes to Beaches 18/27 by Nandita Amin
Dunes, Al Sharqiya Sands
Photo of Journeying through Oman: From Dunes to Beaches 19/27 by Nandita Amin
Nizwa
Photo of Journeying through Oman: From Dunes to Beaches 20/27 by Nandita Amin
Nizwa Souk, best Omani Halwa here
Photo of Journeying through Oman: From Dunes to Beaches 21/27 by Nandita Amin
Nizwa Souk, spice lane
Photo of Journeying through Oman: From Dunes to Beaches 22/27 by Nandita Amin
Typical Omani door
Photo of Journeying through Oman: From Dunes to Beaches 23/27 by Nandita Amin
Beautiful Wadi bani Khaled
Photo of Journeying through Oman: From Dunes to Beaches 24/27 by Nandita Amin
Wadi bani Khaled
Photo of Journeying through Oman: From Dunes to Beaches 25/27 by Nandita Amin
Sur-Muscal coastal road, Gulf of Oman
Photo of Journeying through Oman: From Dunes to Beaches 26/27 by Nandita Amin
Bimmah Sinkhole off the coastal highway
Photo of Journeying through Oman: From Dunes to Beaches 27/27 by Nandita Amin
Coffee at Salim's (from Bangla Desh)shop.

Oman is a surprise package to say the least! A land of beauty beyond words; a land geared for tourism with amazing infrastructure and warm people. Having gone without any expectations, the diversity of terrain and wealth in terms of culture came as a pleasant surprise. Adventure sports, R & R, hiking in wadis or on mountains, swimming in pristine waters and so much more at ones finger tips. But at a price! One Omani Rial converts into Indian Rupees 162 or USD  2.60. 

The fantastic roads enabled us to travel over 1000 kms in 4 days and melted away distances. We started in Muscat and after a day of sightseeing in the city, we made our way to the mountainous region of Jebal Shams via various villages, towns and through Wadi's (dry river beds) with a halt at Jabreen Castle near Nizwa and stayed at Sunrise Resort, Jebel Shams on our first night at about 2,100 meters above sea level where the temperatures went down to 7 C at night. The Grand Canyon of Muscat in the Jebel Shams area is in the northeastern part of Oman where we saw the Imperial Eagle and Egyptian Vulture soar in currents, deep in the canyon.  

From here, on day three we made our way towards Wahiba Sands or Sharqiya Sands This is the desert as you’ve always imagined it: a huge, virtually uninhabited swathe of sand, with towering dunes, reaching almost 100 meters in places, sculpted by the wind into delicately molded crests and hollows. Here you can go for a dune bashing ride in a 4x4 vehicle, ride camels or dune buggy's over undulating sand dunes or just sit back and relax bedouin style at the resort, sipping Omani coffee and popping Omani Khalas dates into your mouth. Day four, our final one, took us to the beautiful Wadi bani Khaled with its pools of clear and cool waters, filled with 'Doctor fish' or Garra Rufa who give you a free pedicure if you are adventurous enough to dip your feet as I did, in the pools, an absolute must! Onwards to Sur on the coast where we stopped at a Dhow (ship) making factory and carried on along the pristine azure and turquoise blue waters of the Gulf of Oman towards Wadi Tiwi and the amazing Sinkhole before reaching Muscat in the late afternoon. Four days but completely different, each one in terms of panoramas and landscapes. And then, a short flight to Mumbai with my mind filled with the sights and sounds of the past few days and a promise to come back soon to this wonderful scenic country to explore more of the unknown.