Monday, 9 March 2009


Be warned this is a very photo heavy post mainly due to the fact that I couldn't choose between them and the day I am blogging about was fantastic. And of course the pictures tie in with today's word of "Travel" and yesterdays word of "consume" over on HSMSHS.

Feb 15th 2009

At 7.30am we were sat in Roberts car at a petrol station while it was being filled up with petrol, no self service here you understand a little man sits on his chair waiting to fill you up even at the Shell garages. The grand total for a huge 7 seater 4x4 filled from empty? An amazing £16, unbelievable.
I will mention at this point, seeing as I am on the subject of cars, that while we were over in Oman Robert cleaned his car no less than 3 times. The reason for this is that it is actually illegal to have a dirty car, it was during the journey I am blogging about that, Robert told us that a friend of his had been pulled over by the police and fined for having a dirty car!!!

Our first stop was at this abandoned village called Birket Almuz.

This house is still lived in.

We climbed up through the village in the heat.

Until we reached the top and found a falage. The breeze block building over the falage in the distance is a bathroom that is still used daily!

I mentioned before about the lack of health and safety. See the roof? We were walking on that.

But the views were more than worth the risk.

We spent about an hour at the village wondering around before we carried on up the mountains to Nizwa. Where this amused me.

The shop signs are all very obvious we saw "Sale of Chickens", "Repair of Car Batteries", Fauq Money Shop" and many more.
It wasn't only the shop names that amazed us. This bridge is being repaired after the typhoon that hit in 2007. Amazingly enough the car park we were in, the road, in fact everything you see is on a Wadi bed and is devastated when it rains. I just find it very strange that they still just rebuild everything back where it was.

Our next very brief stop was to take pictures of another abandoned village with a working plantation next to it.

Further up the Jabals we needed to stretch our legs, amongst other things. So we stopped in the middle of nowhere and to our amazement found a football pitch. That light patch on the left of the picture about half way up, it has goal posts and everything. No sign of a village or anything!

Pete very kindly took a picture of me trying to find a bush. I can tell you now that they are very few and far between in Oman!!

Eventually we reached our destination Jabal Sham. Jabal Sham is about 2800m above sea level and the last leg of the journey saw my knuckles turn white as it was a very steep dirt track.
We parked up, got out and started to walk towards the viewing spot when I looked down and spotted this.

You can't tell from the picture but the round bit it larger than your fist and they were everywhere, all over the floor.

At this point Margaret (my mother in law) was more sensible than we were she sat down and watched from a distance. Notice the wry smile on her face - she knew what was coming.

Pete of course had to get as close as he could to the sheer 1000m drop. Not sure how I managed to take pictures as at this point I was close to panic.

At this point I was nearly wetting myself.

And by this time I was yelling at them all and as soon as the camera was put down my arms started to flap in panic.

While we were up there we did feel the effects of the altitude as if we tried to move quickly it was a struggle. We couldn't believe that people actually live up there in this village.

When looking down over the ledge Pete took a picture of this abandoned village half way down the rock face. Don't worry I can only see the terraces too but I am assured that there is a village there somewhere.

Right down at the bottom, 1000m away Pete zoomed into this village sat right on a Wadi.

We then moved across the mountain a tiny bit where the locals decided to join us for a picnic. I swear there was not a goat to be seen until the cool box was opened and then within minutes we were surrounded by loads of the greedy little buggers.


On the ground we had the goats surrounding us trying to get food and above us we had some Egyptian Vultures circling us trying to get food. It was worse than being at home with 2 dogs coming running every time you open a cupboard.

We left the Jabal and drove to a cave (can't remember the name and I can't find the leaflet). We were supposed to get a train to the entrance but the damn thing had broken down so we had to walk in the heat instead. When we got to the cave we were told that cameras were not allowed so we had to hand them over to be put in a box. I can tell you the next 45 minutes were panic stricken for me, worrying about my baby. We did see some rare bats flying around and some blind cave fish, the cave as a whole was pretty impressive too. Pity I couldn't get any pictures.

After another stop in Nizwa, a drink and a snack in a hotel we headed home seeing some wonderful views on the way.


Igotmebabe said...

OMG at those photos leaning over the drop :( but you did get great shots.
I am really enjoying your photos and the story of your holiday. I love the goat and I am glad you found a bush :) Keep them coming

Chris T said...

I don't think I would have managed those photos of the cliff edge without a very good zoom lens. It makes me feel funny just thinking about it.Another great set of photos, looking forward to the next episode :-)

Photographing Mom said...

Gorgeous photos! Am loving the story!!

Aubrey Harns said...

What a GREAT trip. Terrific photos too. TFS! I've gotta tell ya - my heart about stopped when I saw those pictures of you guys leaned over the edge. UUUgghhhh...I can't handle stuff like that. It freaks me out too. I yell & flap my arms and tell my hubby & kiddo to step back also. They just laugh.

Shannon said...

I would have been screaming, get away from the edge!!! FOOLS!! Love the consume with the goats!

canadacole said...

I'm loving your travel photos! They're amazing! Not sure I would have managed those cliff photos, but they sure are worth it! The consume made me chuckle!

Mima said...

Those photos of everyone leaning over really do make me feel quite sick - awful (but great pics!!). The one of your MIL is a great shot too, has she seen it, does she like it?

The fossils are amazing, are they some sort of flat fish, do you know? LOL at the grocery shop sign! What a brilliant trip, and your story telling with the photos really brings it to life - can't wait for the next installment!!

SuzyB said...

Amazing photos Rach. I would have turned into a big puddle at the thought of anyone going near the edge of that cliff! So jealous of being able to fill up a huge car for that price too!