Tuesday 25 November 2008

Oman: I've got sand in my shoes

Last week's National Day and Sultan's birthday holidays were postponed to this week giving us a four day weekend which means camping.

We drove to Tiwi to find the red tide had crept eastwards turning the water the colour of oxtail soup which ruled out all water-based activities. The sea looked lifeless; no waves, no shoals of fish playing near the surface, no fishing boats, no birds and only the occasional crab scooting across the sand. As there was no smell, we decided to stay.

We were visited in the afternoon by a group who were staying the night and needed assistance with their new equipment. As I helped them erect their tent, I wondered if they realised how cosy the five of them would be in a three-man tent. I left them huddling around a large tray of meat trying politely to decline the offer to join them for dinner.

As we sat around our fire with plates of grilled animal parts the mood was enhanced by the gentle sound of drums from our neighbours and the cry of a fox in the distance.

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