Season’s Greetings to the readers of my blog – Slice of my lyfe.
Another year’s leaving us. A new year beckons with exciting new prospects on the horizon. I hope to travel to a few places that I have so longed to visit and I hope the new year makes it possible. Meanwhile, I will get down to detailing my visit to Oman in this post.
It is quite possible to underestimate something that is easy to access. Just as I did, when we planned a trip to Oman. Something this close of a neighbour held little charm as a vacation destination. But during the last short-long Eid holidays, Oman seemed like the ‘optimum’ choice for a vacation destination.
To my pleasant surprise and later my unsurpassed delight Oman was just splendid with its natural scenery, pristine beaches and rugged mountainous terrine. It was all that a vacation package should ideally be. Also, it was starkly different from Bahrain. It was modern yet had maintained its traditional vibe.
In this post I shall share some pictures of the places I visited in Sur in Oman with my family and friends and will try and fill in details from my memory. . We landed in Muscat late in the night and then checked into the hotel to rest. The next day, we checked out and got ourselves a car on rent from the airport and set out on our way to Sur.
On the way to Sur, we stopped by the Wadi Dayqah dam which has breathtaking views. This is is the biggest dam in Oman and is surrounded by mountains from all sides. It was heavenly to see the clouds descending down on the mountains and the weather that day was lovely. It is an ideal place for a picnic with family and friends.
From there, we travelled for several hours before we reached Sur. It was quite late in the night before we reached our resort – The Turtle Beach Resort. The resort is a rustic setting against the seaside with shacks and huts fitted with all modern amenities. After a restful night, we made plans to spend the day exploring the resort and the places around Sur.
The next day, we spent the day cruising along the coastline in Sur, where the rough beaches with their choppy waters made us stop every now and then to admire them.
Every few kilometers of anywhere in Sur is endowed with natural beauty. This coastline is worth a visit. Looking at the Dhows bobbing up and down in the waters, one can only marvel at the simple life.
Wadi AlShab is located in Tiwi. Its characteristic is fresh water cascading from tops of the mountains meeting the salt sea water on its banks, creating a unique natural diversity. We took a boat ride along the water body and enjoyed the sights of the green water shimmering in the afternoon sun.
The other attraction apart from the wadis was the Bimmah Sinkhole. This sinkhole in Oman is so stunning it has been turned into a tourist attraction where people come for a swim in its waters. The beautiful limestone hollow, in Bimmah, has many legends and unbelievable stories surrounding its creation. The locals believe that a large meteor fell and created this crater so huge that all the land sunk and the water beneath it came on to the surface. But it has been scientifically proven that the ground beneath the holes is made of easily-dissolved rocks such as limestone and carbonates and when the groundwater flows through these rocks, it erodes away at the rock, leaving behind subterranean holes and caverns. When the roof of one of these caverns collapses, the land above it falls in too, giving rise to a giant sink hole.
The biggest attraction apart from the Sinkhole in and around Sur is the Turtle reserve.
The Ras Al jinz Turtle reserve was the highlight of our Oman Trip. This is one of the best kept secrets of Oman and a must – see for all nature and animal enthusiasts. Rightly named the The Circle of Life, this reserve is the safe haven for turtles to lay eggs. We weren’t allowed to click pictures and so I have none of the actual turtles. We saw a 65 year old turtle digging a large pit to lay eggs. We also saw baby turtles scampering off to meet the sea and being devoured mercilessly like ghost crabs on the shore. Such is the truth of life and death that we were witnesses to, on a full moon night at the reserve beach.
Some of the highlights of our trip to Sur were:
1. The Wadis/ valleys
2. Pristine coastline
3. Stunning weather
4. Helpful locals
5. With little wifi connectivity even in the hotels, which ensured that we really experienced everything through our eyes rather than our lenses.
Some of the downers of our trip to Sur were:
1. Food was less than palatable even in the hotels. We were looking forward to great food moments and were met with none. This was unfortunately the story throughout our trip.
2.Very few signs on the roads. Without a GPS, it is absolutely impossible to reach anywhere. You can keep going round and round in circles and you wouldn’t know one spot from the other. Expert navigators such as my husband would disagree but for an average navigator, road signs and directions were absolutely inadequate.
Sur, was beautiful and seemingly untouched by the human hand. When I close my eyes, I can still feel the early morning wind in my hair.
In my next post, I shall share some pictures of places in and around Muscat – the capital of the Sultanate.