16:56.19N 054:00.35E Mina Salalah, Oman Saturday 28th March PM
On Friday we took a drive up into the mountains. It's just a completely
Martian landscape without a blade of grass but there seems to be enough of
something for the camels. The landscape on the coastal strip near Salalah is
not much better. Everything looks like building rubble. Some of it is in
fact building rubble but mostly it's just the natural state of the ground
here. Just dry dusty and rubbly. The architecture in town is not
particularly inspiring, to my eyes anyway, as it is just a sprawling mass of
concrete boxes with the odd Arabic flourish.
We have been eating some fine Omani meals recently. I'm usually not much of
a fan of Middle Eastern cuisine but this stuff has been really good. Tonight
we turned up an Omani restaurant and were surprised to be shown into a small
room with just a carpet and some cushions. Eating off the floor using
fingers is something most westerners have forgotten how to do by adulthood.
The only 'oasis' of Western life near the port is the Oasis Club which is
one of only a handful of places you can get beer. Carry-outs are not allowed
and now we have tragically almost completely run out of booze on the boat.
We have had a few delays with irritating and possibly insoluble problems
like the fresh-water pump needing a replacement but we should be off to Aden