One final adventure in Oman, and one that I'd backed out of a couple of times. The road up to the Salma Plateau was known to be a tough drive and steep. Since the rains recently, I'd not wanted to venture up the route on my own, so when The Guide Oman said they were going up with a troop of cars, I jumped on board with a couple of friends.
The view from atop the plateau was superb and we could see all the way down the beaches to our old faithful camping site. The route took us to the Majlis al Jinn, one of the biggest caverns in the world. Unfortunately, visitors can only peer down the hole into the black mass below and wonder how far down the hole goes. The cavern can house multiple jumbo jets and some of the photos on the internet are stunning.
After a few laps of the opening we moved on to our campsite for the evening on an abandoned air field. We had an amazing spread of food from The Guide Oman, and sat eating in the cooler climes up in the hills, under the stars. Sleeping out under the stars on only an air bed (a little bit of luxury!), I woke at 2am to see the Milky Way stretched across the sky with bright galaxies amongst it. This was one of the few occasions that I have had a huge grin on face to say, “my God, what a sight!”. I don't think I've ever seen the Milky Way so clear; it took me another half an hour to stop looking and fall back to sleep.
The next day, we made our way back down the other side of the plateau towards Ibra. On route, we passed the beehive tombs, standing 3 stories tall above us. Incredible to think that these tombs have been here since before the pyramids. The rest of the route through to the Ibra road back to Muscat was stunning in it's own right; deep wadis, steep descents into villages and a fast section over a final wadi bed. A truly eye opening trip across the plateau, and one I would have liked to have been around to explore more of. There are always other trips back to Oman in the future…