Thursday 19 February 2009

Oman: farewell to the desert

After breakfast, Katie and Holly went for a camel ride and then purchased bits of spangley string from the Bedouin stalls before the ladies popped back home to check their email and sip a frappacino. We collected our packed lunches from Desert Discovery’s Al Qabil rest house before heading east again to Wadi Bani Khalid.

The waterhole was packed with locals laden with aluminium pots, sacks of rice, charcoal, meat and vegetables in preparation for weekend barbeques. There was even a large group of Omani Girl Guides busily constructing fires and washing vegetables in the water. While boys played mischievously in the water, one young French girl outshone them all by jumping and eventually diving from a bridge. Andy also could not resist and plummeted crucifixion-style into the depths of the green pool.

We ate lunch in a terraced field of young corn shoots behind the car park. The arrival of every car was heralded by the sound of squeaky wheel barrows pushed at great speed by local boys hoping to earn obscene amounts of money from gullible tourists.

On the journey home, Holly entertained with games of rock-paper-scissors which she was confusing with the alternative marshmallow-fish finger-stick version which I taught her last night. We did not spot a single accident on nutcase alley (route 23 to Bidbid) and were soon home to wash away the desert crust.

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