Friday, 26 November 2010

A Friday Adventure Part 2

I didn't get to finish my story about the Omani adventure so thought I'd pick that up now before I delve into Jordan. so many stories to tell so little time. My work weeks have been fairly hectic. I'm so looking forward to having a break in December, looking forward to going to New Zealand and spending Christmas with everyone. Especially with Noah. I spoke to him this morning, well he gurgled and squealed and wanted the keyboard while I talked to him. He's grown such a lot, a busy wee boy.

Oman, well it was a lovely day. Blue skies and excellent company. We travelled through the border, got the police escort and continued on to find a place to have a swim. We drove for ages, cresting hills with steep drops on the other side and stopping for photos ops along the way. We stopped at a small, walled cemetery and I got a nice shot of the crescent on the corner pillar against the brilliant blue of the sky. Looking up the valley we could see an oasis in a gully, a sea of green on an otherwise barren landscape.

Where there is an oasis, there is a settlement. The oasis provides work, food, social contact and where there are people there are mosques. There are some amazing mosques scattered in unlikely places, small community mosques that are at the centre of this isolated rural life. Driving along the dusty metal roads we were amazed to see these small communities perched on the side of a wadi, some dry and waiting for the winter rains and some with trickles of water.

We reached our goal, Wadi Madbah. We took the low road and drove straight into the wadi. It was very dry with isolated pools, light blue pools from the calcite deposits ringing the sides where the water had evaporated in the summer heat. It was cool in the wadi, it was by then later in the afternoon. We were a little disappointed, nowhere to swim? We wandered on and found an amazing pool fed by a small waterfall that seemed to come from no where.

The water was fresh, cool and soft, a different feel to the hard Al Ain water. I wondered where the water had come from so took of my shoes and climbed the slippery rocks up the side of the waterfall. A worthwhile climb as it turned out. There was a much bigger waterfall on the next level with a gravel apron. The water from the second waterfall must have been filtered under this apron, no wonder it was fresh and cool. The cliffs of the wadi were awe inspiring, towering high above us. Jane and I peered up, Bart took the photo.

Hot and bothered, we took the risk and got in the water. It was refreshing and the little fish made us squeal as they nibbled our feet. I wanted to stay there forever but it got a little chilly as the sun sank behind the hills and it was time to head home. We had found an excellent place to camp, a place for another adventure. The border crossing was interesting, the guards were not sure where we'd come from or where we wanted to go. We had no idea which road was the right one either. The sun set as we headed back to Al Ain.

I love this area, that I can go across a border into another country that has completely different terrain, a completely different feel, a different way of life. A simpler way of life. The only down side, and I'm noticing this increasingly as I travel, is the amount of litter scattered about. It spoils the natural beauty of the places I visit. The people I travel about with always take their rubbish with them, I just wish everyone would.

No comments: