Monday 15 February 2010

Oman: Wadi Bani Khalid’s a bit of a mess

Camel ride - Sama desert campWe thanked the chef for an excellent breakfast. Meanwhile a few camels were being warmed up outside the camp. The chaps were plonked awkwardly on top of their beasts, which lumbered toward the dunes with riders and handlers wearing matching white shirts.

With everything back in the car, we drove north-eas
Camel ride - Sama desert camptwards to Wadi Bani Khalid. Following months of restoration after Gonu, the area has once again suffered from the rain earlier this month. The devastation was quite remarkable – the first lake after the falaj has disappeared under a pile of stones and there are damaged trees everywhere. The bridge near the new café has been totally destroyed.The chaps went for a swim while I watched more and more tourists arrive with their OmaWadi Bani Khalidni minders. One French woman wore pink three-quarter length trousers, an orange shirt, a hat with a pink scarf trim and silver court shoes. Another German group looked prepared for an attempt on Everest with serious hiking clothes, rucksacks, hats and walking poles. My favourite was the couple with matching beige sleeveless safari jackets and expensive DSLR cameras.We ate the Sama packed lunch with a herd of goats who shared some of Palm tree - Wadi Bani Khalidthe salad, and even the odd piece of lime (which makes them froth a bit). When finished, everyone changed into dry clothes in the toilets for which a charge of 200bz is levied (per person, per tinkle) if you do not eat in the café. Good idea. That’ll bring in the tourists.We ambled back to the car and made our way through the wadi detritus and road repairs before heading back to Muscat on nutcase alley, stopping briefly near Bidbid for the Tour of Oman cavalcade. Back home, around a table of mainly carbohydrate, we reflected on another successful few days out and about in Oman.

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