Saturday 13 May 2006

Oman: Tiwi & Wadi Shab

Our convoy of 4x4s set out on the hour for Tiwi beach and Wadi Shab, about 160km east of Muscat. The programme, planned with the precision one would expect from a bunch of Army blokes, called for the establishment of a base camp on the beach, lunch, swim, drive to Wadi Shab, jump off rocks, drive back to beach, nibble, swim and drive home. The plan worked well, except for the incursion of a group of enemy turtles from the north in the initial beach stages.

Wadi Shab surpassed expectations. Emerald green pools surrounded by palm, banana and lime trees, intensely poisonous tropical weeds and something looking suspiciously like cannabis, all sitting at the foot of towering craggy wadi walls. Many of the pools are deep enough to adequately absorb the impact of a hurtling human, as demonstrated by a band of locals preceding our group. Not wanting to be outdone, the British Army leapt into action on a 10m jump. Unfortunately the loonie locals with a captive audience went several metres better.

Undaunted, the group continued, squeezing heads through rocks to reach hidden caves with waterfalls. On the return journey photographic evidence was taken suggesting that British soldiers may be cast from the same mould, although chest hair levels vary significantly.

It was late afternoon as we arrived back at base camp, ably guarded by two ladies and a couple of vegetable-samosa-and-breaded-chicken stuffed dogs. We snacked and dipped while rueing the lack of foresight at not bringing barbeques and tents. We drove home speedily.


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