Thursday, 4 March 2010

Oman: A weekend in Ras Al Hadd

Khor Al Bath bridge - SurThick grey cloud sat heavily over Muscat as we headed eastwards to spend the weekend in Ras Al Hadd. We stopped in Sur to examine the Khor Al Bath bridge which connects Sur with Aijah where the small ferry boat used to run. Although complete, the bridge is still not open, rather like the toll booths on the new coastal road from Quriyat. Three Omani boys in stained brown disdashas dragged a bag of fish across the bridge, while another family picnicked and posed for photos on the 'engineering wonder' (easy, it's only a bridge).

The ominous-looking cloud had lifted by the time we had finished lunch at the Turtle Beach Resort. While the rest of the family toasted under high sun factor cream, I clambered over the nearby craggy rocks to take yet more photos of the sea to fill up my hard drive.

At dusk, we sat with a glass of something in our favourite location. Dinner was the usual mix of curries and grilled animal pieces, but, despite the arrival of a small fishing boat earlier in the afternoon, there was sadly no hamour or kingfish on the menu.

The hours ticked away. It was nearly bed time (at least it was several degrees of longitude eastward away). It was almost nine o’clock when we retired. I calculated my wake up time tomorrow to be around 2 am.

5 comments:

Atif said...

can you please tell me how long is the drive to Raas al Hadd and what locations come in between that I can see. Thanks

Atif

Mr. Steve said...

Atif,

It takes about three hours to drive the 250km from Muscat to Ras Al Hadd on the new highway. On the way, you can visit the sink hole in Bammah (هوية نجم), picnic on Fins beach, hike up Wadi Shabb or drive up Wadi Tiwi. There are exits off the highway for each of these places.

You could also stop in Sur to visit the ship yard or walk across the new bridge. If you are not sure of the way, you could buy either ‘Oman Off-road’ or ‘Out and About in Oman’ which both have details of the route.

We’re going to Ras Al Hadd again this weekend......perhaps we’ll see you there??

Atif said...

Steve,
This will be my first trip in Oman out of Muscat. Can you please tell me if there are any off road driving that I have to do while going to Raas Al Hadd. I have a Santa Fe and should be fine I guess.

Thanks

Atif

Mr. Steve said...

Atif,

Unfortunately, most of the off-road fun of driving to Sur along the old coast road has been taken away by the new highway. The track up to the Majlis Al Jinn (see Google Earth 22°52'50.31"N, 59° 6'18.74"E) is worth exploring. You can return to the coast along the same track or continue to the village of Qurran and then back to the highway. ‘Off-Road in Oman’ has all the details. Probably not wise to go alone.

Otherwise, the best off-road playground is the Wahiba. You could take the Bidbid road to Sur which takes you across the top of the desert and stay overnight in one of the desert camps, (before it gets too hot). You can usually get an experienced guide from the camp to show you the terrain.

After that you can continue to Sur and Ras Al Hadd, and return to Muscat along the coastal road to visit the places mentioned above.

Have fun!

Atif said...

Thanks Steve!!!