Friday 11 August 2006

Oman: Wadi Daiqah

After wrestling with GPS software and Google Earth I finally managed to get a digitised route from Google Earth into Garmin MapSource and the GPS using a third party tool and much elbow grease. It was worth the effort as the GPS confidently bleeped and tweeted the Prado to Wadi Daiqah in the mountains southwest of Quryyat.

The wadi is one of the few perennial channels in Oman and the area of Al Mazara is a small community built around lush vegetation nestled in trapped pockets of fertile soil. We strolled in cool water with air temperatures in the low-40s and ridiculous humidity. Ladies scuttled for cover as we approached. Men utilised the wadi crossing as a car wash. Teenage boys frolicked in green rock pools. A small boy carelessly lost his bucket in the fast-flowing waters. Two Europeans melted. Cicadas droned incessantly and Kingfishers paused for breath with beaks open.

It is a shame that most of this area upstream from Mazara will be underwater by 2009 as work on a 390m dam with a height of 75m has already begun. Perhaps we got there just in time.

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