Nice travel piece on Oman in this morning’s Post. Brought back good memories of our assignment there in 1994-1995.
The writer, Henry Wismayer, took the opulent, pampered route. Oman is certainly great for that, especially if you want a soft introduction to the Arab world, something on the opposite end of the intensity scale, i.e., choking, chaotic Cairo (which we loved). Muscat is also perfect if you like neatness and order. They even have a law that says you have to keep your car clean.
If you want the rugged Lonely Planet approach, Oman offers up plenty of that, too. In the spring of 1995, about 40 of us, expats from the embassies and business community, plus a couple of Omanis, set out for the Wahiba Sands Desert. Staff Sergeant Terry Peters, who spearheaded the weekend outing, had showed us a map. Using an unpaved road, our plan was to drive our jeeps and SUV’s through the desert to a secluded beach spot, where we would pitch our tents and have a good time.
We unwittingly took the wrong road, and ended up at the desert’s equivalent of a dead end. Long story short, we got stuck and had to abandon our plans. Pitched our tents in the middle of the desert, drowned our sorrows in bottles of Heineken, and slept under a canopy of stars so brilliant I can’t begin to do their majesty justice.
There’s a theory that the reason you never hear about certain places is because nothing bad ever happens there, and thus the media never cover it. Oman fits that bill perfectly. It is safe and the people are very friendly.
I love this photo the better half took at Wakhl Fort. Copyright Roberta Chew.
A traditional khanjar.
A great expat tradition, running "the Hash." Man, the things those bloody Brits and Americans will do for free beer. "On-on!!"
The Wahiba Sands. Still haven't read Thesiger's account...