Saturday 13 February 2010

Oman: Jabal Shams

Goat Gallery Walk - Jabal ShamsStewart’s GPS seemed to have little idea where it was or where it was going. At one point, Chris threatened to place it somewhere where it definitely would not get satellite reception. Fortunately, the car can drive itself to Jabal Shams.

I noticed a few worried looks in the car as we climbed the mountain, but the white knuckles on the rail at the viewpoint confirmed a slight discomfort with heights. Perhaps unwisely, we Gallery Walk W6 - Jabal Shamspointed out the path, hundreds of metres below, on which we would walk in the afternoon.

After lunch (rice and chicken) at the Jabal Shams Travelling and Camping Centre, we parked the car at the beginning of the Gallery Walk (W6) and ran the gauntlet of the village girls peddling their coloured string souvenirs. Stewart kept one hand firmly on the rock face as we ambled along the path past small groups of French tourists. A rest shelter provided welcome relief to the acrophobic, before we plodded to the village and the safety of the car.

The temperature plummeted in the late afternoon as we drank tea and piled
Sunset - Jabal Shams on clothing at the back of the huts. Jamie looked particularly fetching in ‘Auntie Scara’s’ cream-coloured fleece. Despite the total silence, Chris revealed she could hear the sound of a fridge in her head.

During sundowners, I went to photograph trees in the dark (as you do) in the freezing temperatures. After dinner (house special – rice and chicken), we sat around a roaring fire of wood plundered from the dustbins of Muscat.

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