Outdoors in Oman

For our last day in Oman, we booked an outdoor excursion so that we could see what was outside the city of Muscat. We were driven a couple of hours to a place called Wadi Shab, which was sort of like an oasis at the bottom of a canyon. We walked around for a while and took some photos of the rugged terrain. Next we made a brief stop at Wadi Tiwi. Normally people go swimming here on the tour, but neither Laura or I were interested in doing that. On the way to Wadi Tiwi, we drove through what is probably the smallest and least developed village I have ever seen. There were lots of wild goats running around, and some of the streets were so narrow that a single car could barely pass through! Our tour guide told us, half jokingly, that there are more goats than people in this village. You couldn’t help but to imagine what it would be like to grow up here, good or bad.

Next we went to a beach on the Gulf of Oman, which was beautiful and completely deserted. Our tour guide told us that sometimes sea turtles come ashore here to lay eggs. We didn’t see any turtles there, but he told us that he would take us to another spot on the coast where you can sometimes see sea turtles. Despite our best viewing efforts, no turtles were to be seen. However, we did have an up-close encounter with a couple of the wild goats!

After that, our tour guide drove us to a park along the coast that contains the Bimmah sinkhole. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I was told we were going to see a sinkhole, but it is enormous! It’s about 30 meters deep and has a pool of emerald green water at the bottom of its limestone walls. There is a staircase that leads down to the bottom, but we didn’t really have time to explore because we were just there for a 30 minute lunch break. Our tour guide had brought box lunches for us, but we were terrified to eat them due to our fears of getting food poisoning. We had a couple of the items but threw the rest away. Thankfully our tour guide was waiting for us in the parking area so we didn’t offend him by throwing away so much food. It was funny because our lunch boxes contained apples from Washington State! It really is a small world.

Our tour guide dropped us off at the hotel and we took a nap before having dinner and heading out to the Muscat City festival. It was a type of heritage festival with vendors and food stands. We saw a music/lights/fireworks production that was of surprisingly high quality. We took a taxi back to the hotel to prepare for our long journey home very early the next morning. Our flight was at 4:55 AM, so we ended up just staying awake all night packing.

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