Thursday 20 December 2007

Oman: Jabal Shams

At 11 o'clock (ish) we departed for Jabal Shams with the Abbotts, stopping at Falaj Daris for the usual picnic. Mother's itinerary included a brief stop at Jabrin Fort. Although most of the scaffolding has now been removed from the outside, clouds of plaster dust and the sound of hammers still fill the air. The fort also provides a rare treat in Oman – clean toilets, much to Flossie's relief.

Passing the Bahla Fort building site, we continued towards the mountains and climbed to the Jabal Shams Travelling and Camping Centre. As the altitude increased, the outside temperature plummeted and the family-size crisp bags inflated looking like cheese and onions balloons. It was distinctly nippy as we pulled into the camp. The usual warm Omani greeting has been replaced with a more clinical Germanic...'yah, can I help you?'

The Eid holiday had brought a considerable amount of traffic to the area (much from Dubai), and the camp was full to capacity. The site now includes additional rows of tents and a line of concrete huts is under construction, making the place look like a building site.

Thermal undies and ski wear were donned as the sun set, briefly tinting the sky with shades of red and orange. We sat outside waiting for dinner in a sort of après ski atmosphere – the ladies consumed hot chocolate while the gentlemen settled for something in a can and savoury nibbles.
After dinner we melted our shoes and dodged sparks from a rousing fire until heavy eyelids forced retirement.

No comments: