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Between Dunes and Pools

Purpulous Dragonflyious

So there we were, sleepy and dazed after attending the 4am turtle tour at Ras al Jinz. Not the ideal way to start a day, but we were both still on a natural high after watching the hatchlings make their way slowly down the beach and back into the Gulf of Oman to start their lives (did you know a group of turtles is called a “bale” of turtles? No, me either! And another one, a group of Prairie Dogs is a “town” – amazing, also, not related to Oman! I digress…).

Enticing, no?

The only realistic way to survive a full day of travelling back towards Muscat was to take a cat nap before heading on. It was only 05:30 after the tour, so we headed south on the coastal road and found a spot, shaded by a tree and kipped to our hearts content. Best idea we had that day! I think the only reason we woke up again after a couple of hours was that we were slowly baking in the car. Guess it was time to head out again on the open road.

The pools at Wadi Bani Khalid

It was to be quite a simple trip back actually; after an hour or so, we found our turn off to Wadi Bani Khalid, one of the particularly well known wadis in Oman. I've got to say, I really like this place! As we rocked up and parked, it wasn't too busy, but we didn't really know how far we'd have to walk before we hit the pools to swim in. So on went the swim shorts and the backpack-packed to the brim with lunch and sun cream. We started the trek to the bathing pools – oh, how much we were looking forward to them! 5 minutes later we arrived! Shorter than we imagined. Bit bizarre really, in front of us lay a restaurant, artificial dam to make the lower pool and a foot bridge over a small jump between rocks, but by golly was it pretty! Although it has been made accessible for families, they have done it quite tastefully. We dumped our stuff under some shade a bit further past the restaurant, took a couple of snaps and proceeded to jump in the waters to cool off… ahhhhhhh, bliss.

About another 1km up here, you reach Miqil Cave

After cooling off and wondering what we'd done to deserve visiting such an amazing place, we hauled ourselves into the shade to have some lunch, feet dangling in the waters and yet more fish nibbling at our feet. Think they were just angling for the food in our hands, but our feet seemed to please them enough. Eventually we had to drag ourselves away, after all, we still had a good deal of driving to get us back to Muscat before sundown. Refreshed, but smelling of wadi / pond water, we headed off along the road (better than what we smelt of before!).

We stopped off briefly near al-Mintrib near the edge of Wahiba Sands to get a sneak preview of the sand dunes that we'd be visiting in a couple of weeks time, and carried on back to Muscat. Only two days, but much done, and such fun!

The start of the dunes at Wahiba Sands


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