Travel experiences in Oman

Top 10 ways to have fun broken down in a remote Omani mountain pass…..

1) Watch wild donkey graze
2) Swat flies
3) Hallucinate that trees actually look like ice cream cones
4) Wish you had an ice cream cone
5) Kick stones
6) Stop kicking stones b/c now you have to pick them out of your shoes
7) Wonder if those are stones or pieces of goat sh!t in your treads before picking them out
8) Wish someone invented SPF 750
9) Nod greetings to occassional goat herder
10) Have stand off with goat for shady spot under anemic bush-like tree
11) Be impressed with the bounty of places to go to the bathroom

Sorry that was actually eleven. Had several vehicular mishaps traveling south and resorted to a bit of hitchhiking. On top of engine problems, was interesting driving on rims with the second of three tire blow-outs on filling loosening roads and being told by locals it was pointless to go to the village because the repair guy was sleeping. The mountains were stunning and it was fun crossing rivers in the wadis-unfortunately some were too deep to cross and trying to persuade my driver to go anyway didn’t work like it did with my Yemeni fiance. I guess the water gets pretty high from the warnings posted stating “Drowning Accidents Are Now Popular.” Can’t say it’d be my death of choice, but hey. Was a bit wary after being unlucky at love in Yemen when my Omani driver said he had to tell people I was his wife (set off a most unpleasant sandalwood oil flashback).

Did some really fantastic diving yesterday-apparently they don’t get many divers (or female ones for that matter) so the reef was pristine. Great being out on the boat, coastline was gorgeous and met some really nice local divers, although the staring thing was a bit much. Explored the old walled city, strolled along the corniche, checked out the traditional souq and got propositioned twice after being mistaken for a prostitute-all the standard stuff a tourist can look forward to. Apparently prostitutes wear North Face hiking pants and trail runners and sport backpacks in this area of the world.

Muscat is really pretty-strange how none of the grocery stores have names and instead they all have the same exact sign that says “Sale of Foodstuff” (although I did see one that described its foodstuffs as “Exelant”). Starting to notice a common theme in my photos…..goat standing in road…goat lying in road….road with many goats on it….confused goat….baby goat…goat eating garbage….goats running away quickly. (grateful for camera’s delete function). From Muscat there are several adventure tours exploring the most remote areas in Oman: Wadi Shab and Jabal Shams are the most popular hiking tours in Oman.

Leaving for NY late tonight thru Abu Dhabi for the zillionth time-bad sign I actually recognize faces there. Have to say I’m gettin’ pretty sick of the canned vegan chili and Clif Bars I’ve been living off of everyday since I left. Can’t even count how many times I’ve been grilled about my can opener during airport inspections-yes, I plan on opening the plane and all of its passengers to death-preferably in a circular pattern.

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