When living in Dubai my soul craved for escapes and I was lucky to have Oman nearby. It is my favorite Arab country out of many reasons. One of them is sultan Qaboos :P. Another one is the relation with Zanzibar :P. Needless to say that Oman has amazing mountains, miles of wild beaches, canyons and wadis, which are indispensable in this arid part of the world. And Omani hospitality is a thing to remember for life.
Not this was a trip to the biggest island of Oman – south, south south! The drive south of Muscat is very very very spectacular. If you love camping, cliff jumping, kitesurfing and simply driving along the beach, you will scream out loud of joy once in Oman.
Omani love fish biriyani. The rice is flavored with different spices, mainly saffron, cardamom, raisins and cloves. This dish is usually eaten using the fingers. No, no – no forks and knives in this part of the world 😛 !
You can spot this lonely bird along the Omani coast. Locals call it “the lonely king”.
Near Sur there is a place which is very popular with locals namely for the karak tea. It is a black tea with milk and spices. it is a must, I insist. Any Omani would insist and would suffer if passing by without stopping there. Just for the sake of this tea they could just drive from Muscat down to Sur (about 3 hrs, hmm).
Sur is a little coastal town which is worth seeing. There are many temporary shelters built by fishermen in the area. In Sur they built traditional wooden boats. Not far from the town there is a turtle sanctuary (Ras al Jinz).
One of my weaknesses are these carved doors. Every house has one, old or new, they are beautifully made, each one being different from the other. Oh, Zanzibar!
Here we are in Shanna’a, the ferry terminal to Mesirah island. Is it 6 hrs drive from Muscat. Add another 1,5 hrs for the transition to the island by ferry. Mesirah is a kitesurfers’ paradise and a great adventure for desert island lovers.
Once arrived, we were welcomed with a big warm friendly heart by our friends. The lady wearing the traditional outfit was very kind. She wanted to know us better, eish language barrier … Later on, the local fishermen offered us fish for dinner just out of the blue. We LOVED Mesirah island!
The Indian Ocean bring to the shore lots of bones of dead fish and giant mammals.
These must have been the bones of a dolphin.
On the eastern coast of Mesirah there is a shipwreck which gets smaller and smaller with every year.
All along the beaches fishermen boats are just lying aligned without any locket. I guess everybody has a boat on this island :). What would they do without one?
Turtle carcasses can be seen in the sand dunes. Mesirah has nesting shores for several types of sea turtles. Unfortunately we did not sea live turtles. They usually come by night or early in the morning. Is it extremely important not to disturb turtles while they are laying eggs. If scared, the turtle may turn back to the sea and loose the eggs when it reaches the water. It then would take up to three years for her to lay eggs again.
Malik, our dear friend, was fetching a type of local shells for grilling. The shells are growing tightly, stuck on the rocks. If put on fire, the shells will open up. Yummy staaaaaff! The island will feed you, don’t worry, you will be surprised!
Now we only have to decide who is going to be the chef :).
Oh, I loooooove eveeeeeery coast in the Indian Ocean!
A turtle carcass and an old boat which has never been finished…
You can see many jeeps like this in Mesirah, each one of a different color.
The island is quite big. Even here you will see free camels roaming around. But I don’t wanna think about how many ferry rides have been done back and forth to bring to the island everything…