Jebel Sham, Oman

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August 22nd 2006
Published: August 29th 2006
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Jebel ShamJebel ShamJebel Sham

The view of Wadi Ghul from the edges of Jebel Sham
This is an amazing canyon, some 3000 meters high. Access to it was through a 1.5 hours drive on bumpy roads into and up Wadi Ghul, with a 4WD. All the efforts were worthwhile once I got on top of the mountains, where I don't think words or even the photos could describe its beauty wholly. It is just a spectacular place one should not miss when visiting Oman. Just one thing to note: it could be quite dangerous on the edges of the cliff, as, if one is not careful enough, you or your vehicle could fall down 3000 meters unnoticed. Better go there with a local driver.

There is place to stay on top of the Jebel but it is the most basic accommodation. I was based in Nizwa instead, which is an oasis and an administrative centre for the Omani interior. Life in Nizwa is slow-paced, probably becuase of the heat, and people were really helpful and friendly. There is a souq which sells things like clothing and souvinir, but in the afternoon the town was quiet. One drawback in Nizwa is the lack of restaurants--I could find only one in the central, and it was a local one: no menu or English spoken, but, fortunately, I somehow managed to get some food! After all, it is the most Arabic place I have been to in the region in two weeks' time, for which I believe the town itself is worth visiting.

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