Don’t go to Oman in summer, they advised. It’s too hot, they warned.
Yeah Yeah, we remarked – Kiwis can do anything…
A trip to Oman had been on the cards for the whole year, we kept putting it off due to other travel plans and when we finally set a date to go everyone laughed at us. We started off at about 5 pm on Thursday and didn’t make it to our Yeti Beach camping spot until 12:45 am – the border crossings were a huge stuff up! So make sure you go through the Hatta border. It was absolutely sweltering as we found a camping spot and put our tents up. The star gazing was unreal, it felt like we were back in NZ under clear skies…until the heat crept into our tents and we realised how uncomfortable we were going to be as we tried to drift off to sleep.
The sun greeted us with beautiful orange and pink hues as we woke feeling sticky with sleeping mats drenched in sweat. A cool off in the water was welcomed, but the snake swimming past wasn’t! Once we reached Wadi Shab it was 8 am and already cooking, we hadn’t had breakfast (terrible call), paid the boat driver and we were off into the Wadi; chasing the cool shade from trees as we went. Unfortunately, we missed the start of the Wadi Shab pool entrance and kept clambering up the side of the canyon. Halfway along we realised we were walking above the Wadi and feeling faint from the killer heat…..
Here is a top 10 list of what NOT to do when planning your weekend road trip to Oman.
1.Go to the Rafaq border, it’s closed OR the Fujairah border, you can’t go through if you don’t own the car you’re driving.
3. Have 4 hours sleep, no breakfast then hike for an hour in 40 degree heat.
4. Walk to the top end of Wadi Shab with all your gear including your phone, the start of the wadi is pretty obvious – look out for shoes by rocks as a sign.
5. Pack only one water bottle, that was an amateur mistake!
6. Jump off the rock face with your legs open, always keep those legs closed!!
7. Try to carry your backpack above your head all the way out of the wadi, your arms will hate you for this one.
8. Order vegetable curry in an Omani restaurant, the camel biryani is worth a try, you can order a vegetable curry anywhere.
9. Go to the Sultanate Mosque in Muskat after 11 am, visitor hours are between 8:30-11am each day.
10. Decide to go for a swim at 2 pm in Al Aqar we thought it would be refreshing, it clearly wasn’t, felt like a hot bath!