Thursday 5 November 2009

Oman: to Jabal Shams

My heart sank as I watched the chaps in the rear view mirror veer off the highway in their hire car while following me home from the airport. Remarkably, they made a superb recovery and returned to the house using collective innate GPS and a spot of luck.

With the two cars loaded, we headed south towards my very favourite location, Nizwa. At least the fort has nice toilets. Even the chap in the gift shop was bored with the place as he snoozed through the afternoon with his feet on a chair.

The souvenir souq was thankfully closed so we continued to Falaj Daris. We picnicked in the shadow of a large bush on freshly watered grass with the familiar Omani sounds of heavy trucks rumbling through the wadi to discharge a cargo of rocks on a building site. The litter down the rough end of the park was particularly attractive, but I shall remember this visit for the vision an Omani lady emerging from the men’s toilets with her two daughters. Perhaps they were less pungent than the ladies’ (although I doubt it).

The temperature dropped to a cool 21C when we reached the Jabal Shams resort a couple of hours later. CP did a splendid job leading a wood collection team as the drinks cabinet* opened as darkness began to fall. As we tittered at the pathetic attempt to collect wood by the German couple next door, CP revealed that she was having problems with her plumbing for which Mrs M administered a dose of human drain clear. We awaited results.

After dinner, we sat around an orange fire trying to cook small bananas in the intense heat. An almost full moon rose above the highest mountains in Oman which put an end to our star gazing activities so we discussed the best way to re-heat wolf nipple chips before retiring for the night.

*Posh name for a Tanuf box containing all our spirits.

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