After a six hour ordeal at the border crossings we finally get up to full speed and race down the east coast towards Ras Al Hadd in search of turtles…
The delays at the border had scuppered our plans to make it to the turtles before dark so we decided to head high for the first evening to escape the 38 degree temperatures at sea level. At 1,500m the Salma Plateau has a relatively straightforward but super steep and twisty climb that gets you an amazing camping area with stunning views over the coastline and 10 degrees cooler than down below.
A quick boat ride across the entrance to Wadi Shab lands you on the opposite bank at the beginning of the 60 minute hike and splash up through the pools, past the site of the Red Bull diving competition and to the end where there’s a cavern you can swim into under the water. Eeek!
We made our way back to the Salma Plateau for the second night for a well earned chill, bbq and ice cold beverages.
After a day of exploring Nizwa we headed up to the 2,000m plateau of Jebel Shams just in time for a spectacular sunset. A perfect view to enjoy the first drinks of the evening and get the camp set up.
A few shots taken in the middle of the night purely under moonlight - just the movement of the stars gives the clue.
After the hike to the abandoned village almost 300m below us we found a perfect spot to stop for lunch - looking over the ‘Grand Canyon’ of Oman, perched 1,500m of almost vertical drop to the wadi below.
On our way back north on Saturday afternoon we visited the old village of Misfat al Abryeen - nestled on the hillside at the foot of Jebel Shams, this marvellous warren of twisting lanes, covered passages, gateways and meandering flights of steps – all of which bring you down, sooner or later, to the falaj which runs below the village, surrounded by lush bougainvillea, banana palms and other greenery.
Some of the locals taking a cooling dip in the falaj pool.
It’s a working village and the plantations are full of fruits and vegetables such as bananas, limes and figs.
Working our way down the winding steps to the base of the plantation.
Views across the wadi to the climb up on the way back.
A final view looking back across the wadi to the village in the late afternoon sun.
The final steps on the way back - tired but happy and all adventured out!