Roadtrippin – Oman

Hey dear readers..

it has been a while but here we go:

Roadtrippin’ through OMAN
(one of my fav countries in the Middle East)

My fav travel buddy and I are used to tight schedules and still manage to get the full relaxation out of those few days.. but we are aware that this is not everyone’s travel style.
We did this round trip within 4 nights. Yes. 4.
Despite the tight schedule, his “complicated” mum and the Arab-style system, we were able to fill our hearts and souls with so many beautiful memories, impressions and love.

We started off in AL AIN (still UAE – known as “the Garden City”) where we visited the green oasis, the ancient fort and spotted some camels along the way.


Our next stop (after 4h drive) was: JEBEL SHAMS.

Jebel Shams is Oman’s highest mountain and known as the “Arabic grand canyon”. The road up the mountain is quite rocky but we managed to do it with our cheap rental car (Toyota) and did not require a 4×4.
The landscape is rather dry but the air up there is soooo fresh. We loved it.

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Once we arrived and enjoyed the views, it was already sunset-time.
A lovely colorful play.
After enjoying this moment, we checked in at the Jebel Shams Resort.

We booked a bungalow with mountain-views.
Actually this “resort” is not a classic “luxurious resort” but a rather urban, local thing.
It had all we needed and we enjoyed the stay a lot.
Dinner as well as breakfast was included in the rate: a vast buffet variation in a dining room nearby the bungalows.

Good morning!

Obviously I got up to catch a glimpse of the sunrise.. and loved the colors and the peace up there.
Another BIG PRO on the list: the resorts’ towels were PINK 🙂 hehe! They know how to convince the princess of their service.. well done!

Prior check-out we hiked a bit through the bordering areas and met some goats. Yes, free-roaming goats.

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After walking a little further we finally found THE PLACE TO BE and THE VIEW TO APPRECIATE.
The Omani Grand Canyon.

..Wow..

Steep, rocky, astonishing, big, impressive and breathtaking.

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After inhaling and exhaling a few times, appreciating the moment – we drove down the mountain, crossed the Oman for 6h more or less in the direction of the coast and paused in SUR.

The Omani landscape is comparable to the Portuguese landscape in the sense that while driving just a few hours – you are able to spot a constant transition within the flora and fauna. Such a huge diversity on a rather small piece of land.
People’s warm-heartedness and kindness, despite of the language barrier, are also comparable to my Portuguese fellows.
Good-hearted, supportive and lovely people.
While writing this blog post I realized how hard it is to describe what I feel for Oman..

It is somehow indescribable. You really got to check it by yourself.

After a rather intense drive (yes, my partner in crime drove all the way – thank you once again! I should not have taken this for granted.. Sorry.), we finally arrived in SUR – a lovely little fisherman’s village.

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The sea view was amazing but unfortunately the shore was insanely polluted. It is a pity – why do we humans spread our garbage everywhere we go? Why do we even produce that much garbage? A really sad picture.

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We drove a lil further and tested the water: lil chilly but nice.

Our next stop: RAS AL JINZ.

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Ras al Jinz “is world renown for the nesting of the endangered green turtle (Cheloniamydas), probably the most important nesting concentration on the Indian Ocean” (quote).

I was soooo looking forward to this place. I knew that we would be able to spot some turtles and hatching baby turtles. BABIES. 🙂

After our arrival, we checked-in and took a lil nap.
Arabic dinner was served – d e l i c i o u s.
After dinner we met for the first turtle-tour. Jupiiii.

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We walked to the beach to spot the nesting XXL Mami-turtles. Wow.
This was crazy… they seem to be slow but in fact they press out around 90 eggs within a few seconds. C r a z y.
We waited and appreciated this natural spectacle.
@parents: Great that you want to share those moments with your little ones but kindly inform them that those natural beauties are so special and it is crucial to keep silence and to behave properly.

With a heart full of gratitude, we finally went to bed.
(Actually s.th. else happened prior – his mum managed to get the car keys locked into the car trunk.. which turned into a huge drama.. haha but I will not elaborate this further.)

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5am:
Meeting point for the second turtle tour.
His mum was not in the mood reason why we went on our own.
We went to the same area but that morning we were able to witness the actual hatching procedure.
So those baby turtles did their best to make their way out of the eggshell – and once they got this – they started running towards the sea.
Such little babies but so strong and capable of living.
Sad news: Out of those 90 baby turtles only 20 survive – the rest will be killed by the natural predators (crabs, seagulls, etc.).

So there we were – sitting on the beach, watching sunset and the first steps of this little creatures.
One of the “cutest” bullet item of my bucket list.

We proceeded with our roadtrip: next stop: WADI SHAB.

Oman is quite known for its natural Wadis. Wadi is the Arabic term for “valley” – in fact Wadis are rather “natural pools”.

There are soooo many of them and we chose the one of our way to Muscat.

A beautiful natural spot.
A bit too crowded.. but the further you climb into the Wadi the nicer it gets. Less crowded, peaceful and empty.
We recommend sturdy shoes so that you are able to climb even higher – be cautious (and adventurous) at all times.

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We enjoyed our time over here.. soaked those sunrays up and discovered this special place.
Afterwards we drove on to the capital: MUSCAT.

By the time we reached the city, it was already 21h – so we grabbed a quick bite at a local restaurant and went to our hotel.
From the outside this place looked rather dodgy but actually it was very cosy and welcoming from the inside.

We visited the famous souq, one of the palaces, the mosque and walked on the boardwalk.

 

In general you can walk around Oman just as you like. Of course you should always respect local traditions, reason why I opted for rather “long” clothing.
For the mosque you should cover your hair and shoulders (just like in any other mosque).

2016 I went to Muscat with 2 friends of mine and we LOVED this shisha bar/garden.. unfortunately I cannot recall the name. I just remember it was  a m a z i n g.

Traditional, outside comfy seating and lovely staff. A must-do.

 

..OH-MAN..

We loved this trip.

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On our way back we slept one last night in Ajman (4h drive from Muscat) and enjoyed the luxurious treat.

 

A delicious dinner under the sky, a xxl comfy bed and a delicious breakfast treat.
We enjoyed the sunbeds and then we drove back to Abu Dhabi (incl. a quick stop-over in Dubai).

All good things come to an end. 🙂

Hope you enjoyed the read and stay tuned for further INSIGHTS BY JENNYLICIOUS.

 

 

 

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