All right, here it is! My final post on our trip to Oman over Eid. This post will be short, as it spans the course of the final day of our vacation, and all took place on one beach. And oh my, what a beach it was! A girlfriend of mine had recommended we go to As Sifah beach, which is only an hour’s drive outside of Muscat. We planned on driving out to the beach on our second-to-last day, spending the night, and than having a leisurely last day in the sparkling blue water before flying home. Everything worked out perfectly. As promised, As Sifah beach turned out to be absolutely beautiful. It is only accessible by a one-lane road that winds through the mountains that surround Muscat. You climb incredibly steep, narrow, and winding roads for forty-five minutes. There were moments that the turns were tighter than the length of the car! You literally had to slow down, crank the steering wheel, and make a hard turn while you accelerated on the gas pedal to continue up the steep hills. It was really hidden and tucked away in the mountains. Once you had climbed uphill for what seemed like forever, the road dropped steeply downhill, to return to you sea-level, where the beach was.
On our way to the beach, we passed beautiful lagoons. The Arabic word for these places is “khawr”, and a khawr is kind of like a marine-life sanctuary. Another appropriate term for them would be an estuary, as they are shallow bodies of water connected to the ocean. They are popular with the fisherman and are a highly protected area.
The khawrs on our way to Yiti and As Sifah beach. The above picture is a panorama, so click on it for a real treat. (Click on it again, once it opens, to see it full size. You can zoom in and move around, exploring the whole area on your screen!)
Once we got reached the ocean we came to Yiti beach. It was beautiful, pristine, but quite crowded. We decided to continue down the road to As Sifah beach.
Once in As Sifah, we fell in love with the remote stretches of white sand and crystal clear waters. We spent the evening swimming, playing frisbee, and watching the sunset.
For dinner, we decided to splurge and treat ourselves to the one restaurant in As Sifah. It was a seafood restaurant on the beach, and it was divine!
They really could charge anything, with a location like that.
That night, we relaxed with a game of cribbage while waiting for our feast.
I tried to take the above picture in poor lighting and on the wrong setting. Anyways, on the far right is hamoor, the local fish that I ordered, and on the left side is Sean’s platter of fish and shrimp. Not to mention the plethora of Middle Eastern dips and spreads that blanketed our table. It sure made the canned hummus we choked down every other day while living out of a tent worth it!
In the morning we watched the sunrise. (Click on the panorama above, clicking again on the photo to open it up all the way.) That’s the nice thing about camping; you wake up early enough to see the beauty of the world unfold…
Sean was very proud of his sandcastle!
Before we got on the plane we drove around Muscat for a little while. You can see the Royal Opera House in this photo. Isn’t Oman just amazing? The Sultan loves opera and the arts, respects and protects their natural resources, and the people are the nicest I’ve met in this corner of the world.
I wish I could say, “We plan on going back”, but that’s precisely what we did. Two weeks after this trip. No joke. But this time, instead of flying into Muscat, we flew into Dubai. We drove to a place called Musandam, which is technically part of Oman, and has some of the most stunning scenery and wildlife I’ve seen so far this year. I know, how can I say that after a trip like this? Check in with me next week to find out…