Friday 10 August 2007

Oman: Trekking path C38

The recent cooler weather lulled us into a false sense of security as we planned a walk on one of Oman’s official paths. Although the car thermometer read 40C we continued to the start of trekking path C38 which runs from Riyam to Mutrah.

Despite the recommendation on the sign at the beginning of the trek that walkers should be ‘in good health’, mother gritted her teeth as we headed up the slope which looked like a spoil heap rather than the location for a weekend stroll. As we followed the rusty diesel pipeline upwards, it was becoming apparent that the recent cyclone had inflicted considerable damage to the trail which is virtually non-existent.

We clambered on steadily with numerous stops for mother to rest her weary bones. The heat was intense but hazy cloud kept the strong sun from adding to our discomfort. At the highest point on the walk, we had a splendid view toward Mutrah port from where we began the downhill section towards the wadi leading back to the town.
Water and browny-green sludge in the wadi made walking very difficult and slow but we eventually reached the end where we encountered a new 40-50 metre dam across the mouth of the wadi. Mrs M used the ‘f’ word. We reversed a few metres to find a marker indicating the route up a 45-degree scree slope which looked as if it had been poured down the mountain from a giant bucket. After scuttling up the slope, we reached the end of the path which runs through the middle of a graveyard.

We continued along the road and popped out onto the Corniche near Mutrah souq. Mrs M rested her even wearier bones as I walked back to Riyam Park for the car. Before mother received severe bottom burns from sitting on a sun-baked marble bench, I collected her from the area in front of the souq and we drove back in the divine coolness of the Prado.

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