Sunday, 31 October 2010

A Friday adventure (Part 1)

Jane, Bart and I set off on an adventure on Friday morning. It was meant to be an early start but, well Friday's are a sleep in day so we set off mid morning after stocking up on supplies at Lulus. Lots of yummy picnic food, chocolate too of course.

Trying to get two Leos to agree on the route, even if this Leo had the map and the other the steering wheel, is quite a mission. Luckily we had a very good off road route book and a man to mediate. Off-Road in the Emirates II turned out to be a useful purchase as Buraimi is over the border into Oman but is actually a sort of no mans land that stretches the length of the border fence and quite a way inland in places. I'm not sure why but it's a bonus having access to Oman without having to cross into Oman proper.

That was what the discussion was all about between the Leos. Should we go around the whole route, meaning we had to go through the second Omani border or just visit Wadi Madbah and surrounds. I was out voted, was just thinking about our companion who doesn't have the special New Zealand passport Jane and I have. That's what the nice border man said, we were special to Oman. His smile lit up the room and Jane and I got the giggles of course.

The fun really began when we tried to find the turn off to Kitna, the first small village on our round trip. After a few discussions, some off roading so we could go the wrong way down a 4 lane highway, we found a police check point. We decided it was a man's job so Bart braved the road and the speeding traffic to seek help. We could see lots to arm waving and then had to go across to pick up Bart and get more instructions and, wait for this, a police escort to the correct turn off, only in the Middle East!

As the photo shows, the nice man in the police 4wd escorted us doing 120 plus in a 100 zone with us close behind until we found the right road. We stopped to thank him and he rolled down his window and gave us a beaming smile, wishing us good luck with our journey. I wasn't quite quick enough to get my camera out and take his photo.

We traveled down the road with the trees alongside into the rugged Omani mountains, through some tiny villages to find a wadi to swim in, it must be around here somewhere the map tells us so. We stopped to enjoy our picnic on the banks of an almost dry wadi, enjoying the fresh air so clean compared to the hazy air of the flat lands. The toads were interesting and the hornets scary but we braved them while we got ourselves prepared for our next adventure. Part 2 to follow.

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