THINKING ABOUT OMAN
This was not my first time in the deserts but definitely first in the sea sands of Oman. Dune bashing on 4WD is adventurous (my first experience in Dubai was thrilling) but it is just one of the things that we were supposed to do in the vast tracts of nothingness, the limitless carpet of rolling and shifting dunes of Sharqiyah Sands. I was keenly looking forward to experiencing the vibrant desert-sunset, doing some night adventures in the oryx camp, enjoying nippy morning of the sands and getting acquainted to the Bedouin style of living in the Wahiba Sands (named after the Wahiba tribes)
3 hours south of Muscat, the beautiful Wahiba Sands are also called Sharqiyah Sands !
These deserts of Oman also find their way in to the largest expanse of sand in the world, the Rub’al -Khali, also called Empty Quarter or Desert of the Deserts. It stretches quite much around the Arabian peninsula going deep in Saudi Arabia and Yemen too.
After the fun with the Dust, Dunes and the Sand Swirls, we decided to head to our camp. It was already 4 p.m and in the next two hours, the sun was expected to lend a beautiful sight during the sunset time. We decided to take a break and head to our tents but I was still unsure where were we settling for the night. There was hardly any hint of habitation for miles and miles. Everything was either sand or stand-still. When the driver Mazid repeated that the camps were in the middle of the desert I really thought he was kidding until I saw them for myself.
Later I learnt that there are lot of opportunities of camping in the Wahiba Sands. Spending a night in the deserts in Oman is a must do in if you are in and around Muscat. This desert experience will always be one of the most memorable in my life. In the middle of nowhere, in the sea of sands, its surprising to find luxury. My hut in the camp was accomplished with all the facilities. Read the coming up blog post.
When the Sun sets in the DESERTS!!
For all the fun that I did in the camp and to know about my experience of spending a night in the Wahiba Sands of Oman, you must read my follow up blog.
When my driver (Mazid) told us about the Bedouin style tents and the locals (called Bedouins) who chose to live in the deserts over the modern amenities of the cities, it got me really curious to peek into their lives. I wondered what attracted them to the desert, what they ate and what did they do to meet their needs and much more? Next day, not all but few answers went met when he took us to meet one of the Bedouin family while we were on our way to Sur.
Mazid, our driver guided us inside the tent to meet his Bedouin friend. We met his family. Brightly colours, multi-patterns and designs caught my interest almost instantly. The man in blue dishdasha (local dress) offered us the customary Omani tea in small cups and some dates to go with it. They do this with every stranger who comes in to meet them or see-around. For their living they make items from camel hair and sell them.
Almost everything in the tent is hand- made and camel hair is used to make the carpets and the rugs.