Tuesday 19 February 2008

Oman: the Dive Centre

The section of new coastal road from Sur to Tiwi hasn't progressed much in recent months. Although we have used this route many times during construction, there is now a sign stating that the road is not open to the public and should be used at the driver's risk. A bit late for that.

We stopped at the Bimmah sink hole to eat our packed lunches from the Turtle Beach Resort before continuing to Muscat and the Oman Dive Centre (or Center as their sign states).

Immediately Chris noticed Mrs M's cunning plan of working our way up the resort quality ladder; from Al Areesh to Turtle Beach to the relative luxury of the beautifully finished huts, well-stocked fridges and crisp bed linen of the Dive Centre. There's even a bottle of apple scented toilet cleaner next to the pile of ODC embossed towels. Certainly don't get that at Al Areesh.

I first came here about two-and-a half years ago when there were only two groups of huts and little else. It was like paradise. With double the number of huts come more European tourists who are now segregated from the large number of day visitors by rope. The view from the beach was ruined months ago by low-rise hotel blocks decorated in pink, but now two more complexes are under construction. The view today presents bare concrete and heavy machinery, surrounded by man-made layers of carved yellow rock in the hills. They have even applied a coating to some of the rock faces to give it that artificial Disneyland look.

We played in the warm shallow water until sunset, tormenting crabs and chasing clusters of skittish fish.

The quality food at the Dive Centre has definitely improved. The buffet included mahi-mahi, chicken in soya sauce and steak which we teamed with a pleasantly mellow South African red. We sat for a very long time in the cool evening air. Ahhh.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ahhh, the dive "club" .... ok i missed that place last time we came over, must be visited again....