We woke up this morning to clear blue skies, sunshine and less dust in the air. The boys jumped into the pool before breakfast again while Margaret and I got a picnic ready to take with us on our trip out.
There were plenty of pit stops to grab more drinks from the cool box and stretch our legs. During the climb up this Jabal to get some photos I managed to get a thorn stuck in my forehead much to everyone's amusement.
Our first call was at a place called Nakhal where we visited the Fort which stands proudly surrounded by plantations.
In Oman the different districts are called Wilayats and the "Governors" of these areas are called Wali's. The Wali would have once lived, with his wives, in the Fort, now they live in beautiful and large houses.
After wandering around the amazing Fort we headed up through the very narrow, very crowded streets, due to the Mosque just closing, up to the hot springs for our picnic.
We found our spot in the shade ate our picnic and hunted for fish in the warm water and found some along with a frog.
A bit further on we ran out of "black top" and dropped down into the Wadi Al Abyad to continue our journey. Wadi's are dried up river beds that become full when the rains come. It can be years between rain falls and a relatively small amount of rain (a days worth in the UK) can cause devastating flash floods filling the whole Wadi (all the grey stone in the picture).
We got out on the Wadi bed and listened to absolutely nothing, total silence like I have never heard before and played about in the small amount of water still there.
Before heading home we drove up to Barka to watch the bull fighting. The bull fighting here isn't like we know it instead it is bull against bull. They turn up on the back of pick up trucks to be unloaded and tied to a post to wait their turn. We are not sure how the bulls are chosen as it all seems a bit random. Two bulls are lead into the centre of the "ring" to face each other, the men let go of the tethers and the bulls fight. Each bout lasts only a matter of minutes before the bulls tethers are caught and the bulls removed from the ring. As far as we could work out it was rather like Bull Sumo and the bull pushed out of the ring lost. The spectators were all male and they seemed to be there more for the social aspect than the sport. No one cheered or clapped during the whole time we were there - very bizarre indeed.