Friday 21 March 2008

Oman: Wadi Bani Khalid

It was delightfully cool as I emerged from the barbecue rack next to the hut. Many people slept out last night and one couple had a camera and tripod set up to record their desert experience. That gave me an idea. I grabbed the camera to capture Mandy and Simon's alfresco slumbering.
Headaches were easing as Simon drove us out of the desert and we continued to Wadi Bani Khalid. We took a set of reconnaissance photographs last week with Ann and John and we were therefore prepared to negotiate the 30cm wide concrete falaj with Mandy. It was a masterpiece of planning, spoilt only by an old man and his crusty donkey.
Every piece of shade harboured a group of locals engaged in cookery of some description. As we tucked into our packed lunch, the chaps behind us washed their drum-sized pots and pans in the lake using ancient techniques and handfuls of washing powder. The fish were not impressed.
We wandered around the lake for a while past groups of boys somersaulting from the rocks before returning to the crowded car park past the man with his whiffy donkey. I chatted to two local boys while loading the wheelchair and gave them fruit and drink for their efforts. The straw however, proved to be a little complicated.

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