Published: April 28th 2006April 24th 2006
It was an early start this morning and the muezzins call to prayer belted out across the city by loud speaker makes alarm clocks unnecessary.
The first time you experience this it is incredibly exotic but after about the second day you start sticking in ear plugs, I am glad that it is banned at home.
My bus arrived on time and we were on our way it took roughly an hour to pick up the tourists and travel through Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al-Qaiwain and Ajman three of the smaller Emirites to the border post at Tibat, Ajman is so small I could not be certain we were there, I wont be visiting the remaining Emirite Fujairah on this trip.
The border process took some time but eventually we were through and followed this amazing road that wound along the sea coast for about forty kilometres it was probably on a par with the Great Ocean Road in many ways if not more impressive.
My first sight of Khasab was the docks, where Iranian smugglers were taking off in souped up speed boats loaded with contraband US cigarrettes for the 55km crossing of the Strait of
Hormuz to Bandar Abbas in Iran. Then it was the traditional wooden dhows anchored in the harbor, I have always wanted to do a dhow cruise so this a big tick in my book of life, although one day I will take a longer trip on a working dhow.
The trip was a full day job and we ate traditional foods, snorkled (I suck at that) and basically enjoyed the sights and the peacefulness as there were only one or two other boats out there.
The only down side for me was that the European tourists werent interested in talking to me so the only interaction I had with anyone was the Omani interpreter and an Emirites flight attendant from Kenya who was with her German boyfriend, she only became talkative when she got drunk on the booze they smuggled into the country. Such is life.
The Musandam Peninsula is riddled with water ways (Khors) and has very clear water, so it is easy to sea fish, sharks and other marine life. There are a half a dozen villages among the Khors that are only accessible by sea and have their water delivered by boat, they do
not like visitors apparently, but then again I wouldnt want any French or German tourists coming to my house either.
A highlight of this trip were the dolphins they followed us around a bit and I got a few decent snaps which one day you might actually see.
The trip back was still interesting as there are some really kitsche monuments and fountains in the UAE, I asked to be dropped of at the youth hostel in Dubai instead of Sharjah. This youth hostel is not a youth hostel in the true sense of the word even though it claims to be. It looked like a grand hotel and had a pool.
The price of a room for the night had doubled since my LP was published and at first I refused to stay but after ringing a few cheap hotels for a comparrison, it turned out cheaper than most and had excellent facilities including breakfast for no extra charge, I stole the soap and shampoo as well.
I could only stay one night as they had no rooms for the next and I will no long stay in a dorm with others when they wont
View of the Deck
Captain and Steward are decended from the Portuguese
open the empty dorms. About a hundred metres down the road was a McDonalds and I had my first Big Mac since December it was good.
There are more photos below