Tuesday 18 December 2007

Oman: the not-so-isolated bay

As the car approached the beach near the Oman Dive Centre, we were spotted by a fisherman and intense negotiations for the return trip to a nearby bay began. With the fee agreed, we clambered clumsily into the vessel as the boy struggled to hold onto his boat against the strong tide.

Ten minutes later as we approached the bay, we noticed there was another group on our secluded beach. How dare they! Our driver performed some impressive reverse-thrust manoeuvres with the engine as if he'd done it before, and we disembarked while making arrangements for collection in a couple of hours. Mother and Al snorkelled, reporting that visibility was poor due to the large amount of algae. We toasted like well-buttered tea cakes and our little chickens entertained themselves by making models of mother's bottom in the sand.

Two hours later, the distinctive hum of the fishing boat could be heard before it popped into view around the rocks surrounding the bay. We clambered aboard with even less dignity than before and headed back with the cool wind in our cheeks.

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