Rugged. Barren. Desolate. Canyons. Converse sneakers.
Which of these is not like the other? Fortunately, Oman’s rugged mountains and our awesome guide, Hameed, made it all work.
We took a long weekend out to Jabal al-Akhdar (The Green Mountain) and Jabal al-Shams (The Sun Mountain), the highest peaks in the Middle East located in Oman’s interior province.
Our plan was to relax in our awesome mountain-top resort, take in beautiful views and maybe partake in an easy, mountain top walk. Obviously, things don’t always go as planned. We went with our guide, Hameed from the Al-Khatri tribe, a local mountainous community living a top of Jabal Al-Shams, to Wadi Al-Tham (The Hidden Valley). This is a wadi literally off the beaten path with an unpaved road caverning along a 20 foot deep canyon. The entrance to the wadi is behind a home of a woman of the Al-Khatri tribe, she is the only one within a 20 km radius living by the wadi.
A lot more than we bargained for, we trecked with Hayat in tow along another massive canyon and down into the middle of the valley to reach a hidden cave with clear blue water loaded with fish and what looked like a million tadpoles. It was pretty crazy that we did such rugged terrain, in squash and converse sneakers (do you know how flat those can be?!), with Hayat passed out on Batoul pretty much the whole time.
The next day, we wanted to take it easy so we walked around the village near our hotel and got randomly invited into an Omani family’s home for coffee. Coffee turned into lunch. We ate rice, camel, dry fish and logmaat (the Arab world’s version of a glazed timbit … only millions of times better). Hayat decided she needed to roll around in rice to make herself feel welcome, but we got through it!
Below is a recap of our long weekend of adventure that we managed to capture.