Sunday 14 February 2010

Oman: The Sama experience

Jabrin FortIt was a stunningly beautiful crisp sunny morning on top of Jabal Shams. A hearty breakfast (no rice or chicken?) satisfied hearty appetites before we packed the car with the help of a few goats.

We diverte
Sama desert campd to Jabrin for a brief whiz around the fort, before continuing to the Wahiba.

As we turned off the road at Al Wasil, we passed a convoy of white 4WDs returning to the cruise ship in Muscat after a half-day (three hours to be precise) desert experience. With
only three hours to get to Muttrah on the Bidbid road (also known as nutcase alley), I’m glad I was not a passenger in that group.

The Sama ‘tourism village’ is located 15km south of Al Wasil (don’t bother with the laughable map on the website). With nice clean rooms, proper toilets and electricity Sama desert campthroughout the day, it is a higher standard than the Al Areesh, which is a desert camp rather than a hotel in the desert.

After the usual hospitalities (where we learned we were the only guests), we checQuad bike Sama desert campked in and organised the quad biking. Mrs M whizzed about on an oversized bike like Peppermint Patty (‘madam drives very fast’), while Stewart tootled along in his dune buggy which performed like a milk float. Jamie pulled off a magnificent, almost life-threatening manoeuvre while attempting to creQuad bike Sama desert campate something memorable for his Facebook profile.

While the sun set firmly behind the dunes, squeals of delight rang out across the Wahiba as the ladies played on the trampoline in the children’s playground. Dinner was superb. The staff lit a fire afterwards and left us with tea, cake and our own rat
ioned smores.At the Sama, you can’t get the same desert experience of sleeping under the stars surrounded by dunes as at the Al Areesh, so I was forced to retire to the comfort of a proper bed.

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