Salalah part 1
After all the
turmoil and mixed emotions of the first few days here in Salalah, a change of
scenery was required. I had the offer to go off with Jeremy and the
Chisel crew, with Bali Blue’s Peter and try and find the desert. We
didn’t have to travel far!!! It was on our doorstep, but we still headed
off in the direction of Muskat along the main highway which was almost deserted
in the desert!! After about an hour we came across a one camel town. It was
lunch time so we had a traditional Arabic meal of cheese burger and chips with
a can of coke.
desert road and a friendly camel.
After lunch we
decided to head to a town called Wubar. This involved driving down 30
miles of dirt road. The dust the tires sent up was prolific. This town
had a ruined city that had been lost to the desert hundreds of years ago buried
in the sand, and was only found from satellite images. So off we went in the
searing heat in our BLACK hire car. We saw our first camel sign and had
to stop to get a picture. We weren’t certain if the sign meant
humps in the road!! Eventually we saw our first herd of camels.
Humps in the
We stopped at
the side of the road to photo these ships of the desert and discovered they
were being herded towards a Bedouin tent. We were not sure how we would
be greeted by the Bedouin people so we carried on to Wubar.
The site at
Wubar had been in use from the iron age and is situated along the Frankincense
route to the north and Europe. There is not much left there now except
the remains of an old tower.
We returned to
Salalah via the same very dusty dirt road and stopped for a meal of what we
call road kill chicken. This consists of a whole chicken that has been
flattened and then barbequed, It does like it has been run over, but it is very
nice and very cheap.
Sunday saw us
Barbequing on the beach. This has turned out to be a regular Sunday
evening pass time. Allden and I were swimming whilst Carol and Jeremy
prepared a great BBQ.
Monday saw us
picking up our own hire car. We decided to share this with Sol Maria and
Lucy Alice to cut the costs. As soon as we picked it up Gavin and I had to try
out it’s cross country potential. We drove along the coast to check
out good dive spots. Chisel has an identical Mitsubishi Gallant and we
often try to get into the wrong car. I think these are the only two black
cars in Oman ideal for such a hot country. NOT!!
out the dive spots Gavin and I went snorkelling. Gavin is a champion free
diver and has won many completions for spear fishing so we didn’t just go
snorkelling we went spear fishing as well. He taught me the technique for
spearing the fish and eventually I had a go at catching that nights
dinner. The result can be seen below.
We went onto
Sol Maria and Gavin showed me how to fillet the fish without gutting it.
The result was an invite onto Miss Tippy for drinks and barbequed fish.
The specimen here is a parrot fish which feeds off of the coral. It
tastes very nice especially when prepared by an expert. Mike who lives
close to me in Dartmouth gave me a spear gun to bring away on the trip, but I
have never had the nerve to use it. I will be giving it a try now.
day we decided to head off into the desert again and find Jobs Tomb. We
drove for miles in the searing heat passing through some fantastic
scenery. We managed to stop the car a couple of times to walk into the
wilderness where we saw some wildlife. It is amazing how they manage to survive
in this wasteland.
Two of the
creatures that survive in this habbitat. A little Gecko of which we saw quite a
few and a Scorpion which I found under a stone. The Gecko was quite frendly and
didn’t mind it’s photo being taken, whilst the Scorpion was very
aggressive, it being quite small about two inches long, it didn’t run
away, it turned and pointed its very poisionous tail towards us. It was a treat
to see these in such a barron place.
On the way back
we saw wild asses roaming the hills and herds of camels heading back to the
farmsteads to be milked, watered and fed. Some of them had their
youngsters with them which bounced along the road behind their mothers in
We proceeded to
Jobs Tomb. This is where one of the great prophets is buried. There
was not a lot to see but this is one of the main tourist attractions in the
We were amused
by the name on this can. We couldn’t imagine what it was used
for!! Also we saw more camels all grouping together. The must have
been a lot of camelaraderie between them. (Pete Joke)
again saw us eating a fantastic Paella in the beach prepared by Jeremy and
Carol yet again. We then decamped to the Oasis club to celebrate
Allden’s birthday. He had been feeling a little lonely in his bunk
on Chisel so Jeremy brought him a little play mate. A great night was had
After a hard
day working on the boat we headed into the local Suq where we were shown by a
really nice young man the different types of Fankinsence and how to light it in
a speacial burner. We then purchased some to bring back to
England. We also got shown how to ware the traditional head scarf
which we need for our pending overnight trip into the desert.
Here is me
trying to look mean!!! The hair dressers John visited and talked about in
his last blog were all sitting outside their shops trying to drum up
custom. They saw my unshaven face an nearly, yes nearly got off of their
chairs. Needless to say I didn’t indulge myself as I wanted to stay
Part 2 to come