Blogs from Ash Sharqiya, Oman, Middle East


Middle East » Oman » Ash Sharqiya January 3rd 2020

Along the route from Sur to Muscat I had been intending to climb one of the other climbs featured for Oman on the website Climbbybike (there are only four), as the starting point was just off the main highway. However after catching a glimpse of it before the turn off I elected to skip that option as, from the short section I saw, it appeared to be a murderous, near vertical, corrugated surfaced, wall of death that might be doable on a mountain bike but would lead to blood and tears on a road bike. So sod it. And for crying out loud, this is supposed to be a holiday... So I sailed onto the next option on the list of potential activities that I had jotted down over breakfast - Wadi Tiwi. The lower reaches ... read more
View down the valley of Wadi Tiwi
Arabian Sea near Wadi Shab

Middle East » Oman » Ash Sharqiya June 22nd 2019

Today we have booked a full day tour to the Wahiba Sands and Wadi Bani Khalid, both of which are around 200 kms south-east of Muscat. Our guide for the day introduces himself as Ahmed, and we head out of town on yet another immaculate six lane highway. We comment to Ahmed on how great we think the roads are here, and he tells us that when the current Sultan came to power in 1970 there were only seven kilometres of sealed roads in the entire country. The previous Sultan, the current Sultan’s father, was very much against development, and was determined to keep Oman isolated from the rest of the world. No one has ever been quite sure why he chose to do this. What has happened since 1970 seems little short of an economic ... read more
Bedouin camp, Wahiba Sands
Trinkets, Bedouin camp, Wahiba Sands
Bedouin camp, Wahiba Sands

Middle East » Oman » Ash Sharqiya March 7th 2017

After skirting the eastern coastline of Oman, it was time to head inwards. First up was a drive to Wadi Bani Khalid, an oasis spot in the middle of some dry and barren mountains, and one of the larger wadis in the country, which contains a significant water level all year round. This results in lush plantations on the drive in. The pools contained clear deep blue water and a number of us took the opportunity to take a refreshing dip before taking in a buffet lunch. We got quite a funny sensation during the swim when we stopped on a rock ledge and got bombarded with little fish swimming straight into our feet instead of avoiding humans as they usually do. After lunch, we headed for Wahiba Sands, a vast undulating white sea of sand ... read more
Rolling dunes at Wahiba Sands
Entrance to the Bedouin camp
Church ruins at Al Munisifeh

Middle East » Oman » Ash Sharqiya May 25th 2015

Still amazed from our Turtle Experience the night before, we packed up and got back in the car heading this time for the desert region of Wahiba Sands, for a night in a desert camp! On the way we had time to stop at Wadi Bin Khalid. Similar to Wadi Shab but rather that an adventure this was more of a 'parking lot and well trodden path' kind of Wadi. Still very pretty, the pools no less refreshing but just feel as wild. We stopped in a café (see, no where near as wild!), enjoyed a beverage and carried on our way. It had just turned afternoon before we arrived almost at our destination. I say almost, we were driving a regular saloon car and the rest of the way to our camp was over sand! ... read more
Wadi Bin Khalid
Wadi Bin Khalid
Desert Nights Camp in the Wahiba Sands

Middle East » Oman » Ash Sharqiya January 16th 2015

Hey Everyone, So far on our Omani Journey...we have done a BIG Bus tour of Muscat, where the Sultans Palace and Port were our highlights. We headed down the coast to a place called Hayiwat Najm (known as the Dabab Sinkhole) which is a limestone hole 20x40m of unknown depth and immense beauty, where we dipped our feet, only to have our toes nibbled by pedicure fish (not their scientific name)..something you pay a fortune for in a spa. You can't help but laugh, almost hysterically! Not far from the Sinkhole we visited Wadi Shab, a creek surrounded by mountains, where we treked for a couple of hours, taking in the beauty and serenity. After staying a night in a beautiful hotel on a cliff overlooking the Sea of Oman we headed inland to a Desert ... read more
Wadi Shab...the photos don't do it justice.
Sultan's Marina

Middle East » Oman » Ash Sharqiya » Sur September 12th 2013

The border guard stamps my passport. I look at him enquiringly, but he just says "Finish", so I thank him and walk off. Why I didn't have to pay the 20€ that I had been quoted, I don't know, but I'm not gonna complain. I take it as a good omen for my sojourn in Oman, which is to be my first real travel experience on the Arabian Peninsula. I wouldn't count the few days of sightseeing I've had in Doha and Dubai as such. I withdraw enough Omani rial to last me for 10-14 days, buy a local sim card and hop back on the bus destined for Muscat, the capital. As per my request, the bus driver drops me off at Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. It's 2pm, certainly not the best time to be ... read more
Beehive tombs of Al-Ayn
Door inscriptions
Desert landscape south of Sur

Middle East » Oman » Ash Sharqiya November 14th 2010

The water in the Gulf of Oman is jewel colored. Intense blues and greens that seem unnatural. I had noticed this that first morning, walking along the corniche in Mutrah. Yet I was still awed by it as I walked along the beach in Sur, watching dhows bob in that color. It was easy to imagine jumping on one of those wooden boats and setting sail into the Indian Ocean. (I seem always to be fantasizing about venturing out to sea, whether it be following the Vikings or now Omani traders…) The sea* defined most of my second day in Oman, which is perhaps fitting. Much of the fortune of the country was built by its seafaring coastal people; it is the coast that most people probably think of when they think of Oman (though to ... read more
Crossing over the Hajar Mountains
Long, Winding Road
Qurayat, Fort and Market

Middle East » Oman » Ash Sharqiya January 15th 2009

...and yes, I simply love sand dunes After we left Sur and the coast our first stop was Wadi Bani Khaled. Oman is a dry land. One of the few places where fresh water can be found is in the valleys, the so called Wadis. Since there is water in the wadis that is also a place where you can find some vegetation and where you can have a swim. A swim in fresh water is a rare thing in a country where well over 90% of the land is desert so it is quite understandable that the wadis are popular to visit. Wadi Bani Khaled is one of the most popular and most easily accessible wadis in Oman. There is a big parking lot at the entrance to the wadi and walking paths leads to ... read more
Old Man
Old man
Wadi Bani Khaled

Middle East » Oman » Ash Sharqiya January 11th 2009

Doors en masse When Jordi and I were in Sur we walked through the streets of the Old Town. Maybe the name Old Town is a bit misleading because I don't know if this part of the city is any older than any other part. But to me it looks like and old town so I call it Old Town. In the Old Town I especially liked the doors of the houses. The houses themselves were mostly quite dull to be honest, but the doors were nice. Almost every house had an interesting door. The doors came in many different colours and were skilfully crafted. When Emma and I started this blog in 2006 the main purpose was to make it possible for us to upload photos and make them available to our friends and relatives. ... read more

Middle East » Oman » Ash Sharqiya January 3rd 2009

Five days on the road or how to crash a car in Oman In this blog entry I would like to start by writing a little about Oman as a country and how it is to travel there. Oman is situated on the edge of the Arabic Peninsula. The neighboring countries are Yemen, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. The people here are very friendly. In the days I have been here I have not seen a single trace of anyone disliking me or having a grudge against westerners or tourists. I have for instance been invited to private homes and had a very good time drinking coffee and chatting about life, football and culture. We had such a good time that at one time we even joked about suicide bombers. I felt very safe all ... read more
Swedish gun
Part of Nizwa Mosque
Tower in Nizwa

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