Thursday 13 March 2008

Oman: Wadi Bani Khalid

The sand was cold under foot as I climbed the dunes at sunrise. This is normally a tranquil time but the peace was shattered by a woman shouting through a phone to relatives in Delhi, a couple calling to friends in the camp from the top of the dunes and one particularly loud voice in the main tent which drowned out someone's throat clearing.

Mrs M Tours included a trip to Wadi Bani Khalid (well, Wadi Absan to be more precise). We had heard that Gonu had a positive effect on the area by destroying many of the rusty picnic tables and shelters. It was true - there are even a few tasteful shelters under construction with varnished bamboo roofs. I recant my November 2006 comments.

We returned along the narrow concrete falaj to the crowded car park and drove a short distance to take lunch on camping chairs. We really should get a wicker picnic basket and a tartan thermos flask to heighten the embarrassment.

The evening was spent around the crisply-linened tables of the Sheraton at Shatti where vast amounts of sushi were consumed. Despite initial reticence, John wrestled superbly with the fishy menu while Ann made empirical studies to determine the correct level of wasabi paste application.

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