Thursday, 25 February 2010

Oman: One last camping trip....

Camping - Ash ShiruqThis weekend’s national holiday provided an opportunity for one last camping trip before our time runs out in Oman.

We returned with friends to the deserted beaches near Ash Shiruq on the east coast at the bottom of the Wahiba (170 km south of Ras Al Hadd) to find a group of fisherman on our spot. Damn cheek.

While establishing camp further along the beach, we provided entertainment for three boys who must have thought the circus had come to town with all the coloured nylon and equipment. Lou was concerned about one of the boys who was playing with an aerosol can, so I gave him (and his big brother) a bit of a stiff talking to in Arabic about the dangers, although I had to act out the word for sniff.

The three colour-coordinated gazebos were lashed together due to the strong wind and secured to the beach with numerous lines to keep them from turning into surf kites. As I wrestled the tent with Mrs M, two more locals sat behind us and watched with utter bemusement.On our previous visit to this spot, Ian slept in a tent the size and shape of a sandwich cover. This time, he and Jan brought a nylon villa which billowed and flapped uncontrollably during assembly. Judging by some of the language, I don’t think they’ll be taking it camping again.

Somehow the afternoon disappeared while I was searching the beach for wood. The fire proved difficult to start in the wind, but it was soon flaming horizontally, creating the ideal background for the evening’s intensive barbecue frenzy.

With full bellies, we wiled away the night under a clear moonlit sky to the sound of crashing waves....and nothing else. Bliss.

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