Yay my first trip outside of Dubai on my off days!
Martin (the friend I made through my blog) invited me and Simone to go with them (which turned out to be 8 french people) on a boattrip in Oman for two days. So we headed out of Dubai in the morning, driving through the city, to more remote areas, the dessert and through Ras al Khaimah which seemed to be more of what you would expect a city to look like in the dessert, not like the shiny Dubai we’ve gotten used to. Another unfamiliar sight was the weather, and it seemed to get worse the further we got. After about 3 hours we got to the Oman border with strong winds blowing and clouds that predicted rain… not looking promising for our boat trip…
After some queuing and a quick stop at the huge empty supermarket (which looked like a scene in a movie) we met up with the rest of our group (which was off course all the french people) and then took on the mountains of Khassab with four 4×4’s. Khassab is a peaceful town located at the foot of Wadi Khasab overlooking the gulf of oman and the strait of Hormuz. Khasab in arabic means ‘fertility’ which refers to the large produce of dates and fresh water.
It’s a different kind of beautiful, mountains and mountains of rock that looked like they are piled on top of each other. Here and there you will find a lonely tree that seems to be miraculously surviving without water. If you look carefully you can also spot goats easily making their way through the rocky landscapes. We went past some areas where people are actually living ‘in’ the mountains! Little doors seem to close up cave-like houses everywhere in the mountains if you just train your eyes to look for it. Incredible. Our tourguide told us that the government bring these people water and that most of them own a 4×4 vehicle… the simple life with a twist, haha.
We saw some spectacular views, as it was cloudy, a bit different than the usual days in Oman, apparently it only rains 3times a year in Oman? lucky us!! It got so cold that when we stopped at viewpoints to get out and take in the view, we jumped out, took a picture and got back in the car, haha what a good start to a night to be spend on an open air boat
We got to the dhow boats just before dark, and Simone finally understood why I brought so many stuff with me, from scarfs to an extra blanket (she was laughing at me in the car). It was a dhow boat, meaning an old wooden boat with a sail for cover and one very simplistic toilet (if you know what I mean). So it turned out to be camping on a boat… in the rain, which was not expected at all!
But with so many french that brought so many things to keep up the good mood and warmth we soon forgot about the lack of luxuries and were sitting barefoot on the ground in the boat playing french drinking games! As if that wasn’t fun enough me and Simone couldnt help but to crack ourselves up once in a while for the french’s determination to speak english. hehe well done guys!! Especially where we had to make sentences that rhyme, Olivier, you rocked that!! hahahaa
I was quite tired and were one of the first to go to sleep that night, as I only arrived from Frankfurt that morning. I made beds for me and Simone behind the table which doubled as some kind of shelter from the wind and we tried our best to get a good nights sleep between all the french and their never ending energy. It was probably less interesting for us as we didn’t understand a word, so at least I could try and sleep
The next morning I woke up to one of the best sceneries Ive ever woken up to. Surrounded by water and mountains, breath taking!
We had breakfast that our guides prepared for us while trying to find shelter from the rain every 5mins and basking in the sun every other 5mins. The weather kept changing like that for the whole day! After breakfast we started our cruise to Khor Shem.
Khor Shem is a spectacular sheltered 16km long fjord with crystal clear water. The fjord with the high mountains has given the area a second name ‘the norway of Arabia’. We went past the first village of the fjord with around 120-150 inhabitants. There is no land access to this area; most of the villagers are fishermen. The children travel by boat to school in Khasab on every Saturday and return back to their village on Wednesday to spend the weekends with their family. The government provides water to villagers free of charge.
We stopped at one of the best spots for snorkeling and luckily the sun was out for that moment and we got into the water. The fish were beautiful! Many different kinds, coming up close to the boat as the guides kept throwing them something to eat. After cooling down in the water the rain came to greet us again and we continued sailing. We had lunch on the boat and finally spotted some dolphins. Our guides made some waves in the water with the boat and the dolphins were jumping next to the boat, so cool!!
On our way back the weather got a bit more miserable and we were freezing our butts off! So we all sat underneath the sail with blankets and just relaxed taking in the still beautiful landscapes. All in all an adventurous weekend. I will defnitely explore more of the short trips around dubai!