Friday 21 December 2007

Oman: a walk in the canyon

An exceedingly disappointing breakfast was taken outside with the staff barely able to keep up with the number of Arabic, Indian and European tourists. Poorly nourished, we drove to the start of walk W6 located at the small village of Al Khitaym.

The team of local children that normally greet tourists at this location have gone up market, employing a table to display their wares. They were clearly not used to this new sales strategy as nobody (except the old man with his plate of rocks) bothered us with bits of coloured string or small hairy rugs.

Conditions for walking could not have been more perfect, except for the usual haziness over the canyon. We strolled along the path to the ‘tap, tap…...tap, tap’ sound of mother’s walking poles.
Two crows soared overhead in aerial combat with two birds of prey that were showing off in the distance.We paused in one of the shelters for a while before heading back to run the gauntlet of the sales team near the car. Paul weakened and bought a key fob of which he is remarkably proud.

A few kilometres later, we picnicked on the edge of the canyon, interrupted (unusually) by hoards of tourists paying outrageous prices for the day trip from Muscat. Karen brought out the banana cakes which were just like the ones mother used to make before she misplaced the oven.

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