Oman for Amateurs.....Part 2 The natural stuff!

With the cultural side of Oman covered in my previous blog post, it is time to move on to the natural beauty of Oman. The annual rainfall varies from region to region, therefore, the natural environment varies greatly.

With any road trip holiday, the truly enjoyable part is not your end point but the journey there.  Although you may have a final destination in mind, I would encourage all travelers to be spontaneous and explore.

An unplanned stop generally leads to surprises
Coastal town
With my destination being a location at Fins, a short distance from Muscat, I was able to explore the coastal villages on route. With the winding roads seemingly stretching forever, a random fishing town is always a great place to stretch the legs, have a bite to eat and enjoy a section of coastline that is beautiful and generally not overrun by tourists.

Camp sites in along the coast of Oman are plentiful and although it may not be everyone's cup of tea, it is a cost effective and relaxing way to see the country.

Could it really get any better?

The beauty of camping near Fins and along the majority of the coast is that the large mountain peaks that run parralel to the coast. You get your moneys worth with beach views in the front and mountain views in the back.

Beautiful in its own way

One of the sensational sunrises I got in Oman
Camels wandering around the camp site

As with any activity outdoors, it is imperative that you respect the environment at all times. Please endeavor to take all your rubbish home with you and to bring your own supplies including firewood. There is nothing worse then entering a campsite filled with rubbish and showing signs of abuse.

With the country being almost completely desert, dont expect to see a plethora of wildlife. Yes, true there are camels, but the majority of Oman's wildlife is nocturnal and adapted to living in very harsh conditions. Having said that though if you keep your eyes peeled, there is always something to be found.

Native wasp. Inquisitive but harmless
It looks dangerous,but he's pretty harmless  
Even though this trip was primarily concerned with the coast, it is always good to take mental notes of future locations and trips in the same area. With so many wadis and mountain locations also available for camping and exploration, keeping an eye out for subsequent camping spots is an enjoyable way to pass the time when driving.

As the roads in Oman are incredibly wide and well maintained, it makes for a comfortable drive and being able to see how the colours of the mountains change and shift, while driving, was a personal highlight for me.

Ansel Adams eat your heart out
White mountain
So many peaks such little time
With the trip coming to an end and the beauty of Oman well engrained in my brain, it was time to head home. This is a good time to warn unsuspecting folks of the dangers of camping in Oman in respect to wadis. Camping in wadis is extremely dangerous. Rain in the mountains gets funneled down and ends up being a torrent of water. This wall of water travels fast and claims lives every year. A typical wadi can be seen below.

Two flood zones converging
Even thought it may be sunny where you are, it could be raining in the mountains and the torrent could be funneling down the wadis. I can't reiterate enough the dangers of camping in these locations and there are many of them in Oman. Below is the water flowing in a very small wadi on the way home from Muscat after 5 millimeters of rain. I cannot stress enough the dangers associated with camping in Wadis. Do not do it no matter how tempting it may be.

Flooded in less than a minute
Fast and wide

Even locals were impressed

With the end of the trip drawing near I felt well rested and relaxed. The icing on the cake on the final night was a sensational sunset on a beach, which we had to ourselves. As a keen photographer, I hope for these kinds of sunsets where the sky, water and composition all comes together beautifully.  I found it quite symbolic that I received all this in a country that seems to fit all the prerequisites needed for a magical and memorable holiday.

Room with a view
Only mother nature at its best and me with my camera - perfect combination

last glimpse of sun

Bring out the pinks!

Oman both culturally and environmentally, is a wonderful place to visit. Its relaxed lifestyle and sensational natural beauty allows it to tick boxes for all forms of traveler. I strongly encourage anyone interested in a more realistic snapshot of the "real Middle East" to visit Oman and see it for yourselves.

Take care and safe travels