Golden Tulip Nizwa
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- Room service
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I pass the
checkpoint on to the plateau. Insurance, rental and driving licence
at the ready and I'm admitted. The area belonged to the military once
and although you don't need a permit now you must have a 4x4 vehicle.
It does seem a bit of overkill as the roads are tarmacked and as
smooth as silk. Still, not my rules and I happily comply.
After all the
places I've been to ...
... houses seemingly part of
the cliff face. How people survived here? Goats I guess. It's not
surprising that the mountains were not governed by any central
authority, Sultan or Imam until the middle of the last century.
Back to Al Hamra
and my caff. “ Where is your partner? only one today?” They are
disappointed but accept that Matteo has returned to Muscat.
I head for Misfah
after lunch. ...
... across the
mountains from behind. Brilliant flashes of lightening, thunder
rolling and very large drops of rain so we flee to the shelter of the
4x4 like proper Irishmen.
A great evening
eating, chatting and improving our night-time photography skills.
There are still bugs at this altitude but I sleep well and even crawl
into the sleeping bag to get warm during the night. A first in Oman.
... the outside, they lived like in the last centuries, without electricities, cars etc until 1970, when his own son pushed him of the throne. Now everything in Oman is new and modern, they have a social wellfare system and good education, almost no criminality. But no free elections and no Skype, as I had to find out. The hotel I stayed at was the first one to be opened in Oman, as late as in the 1980s!
... archways & many snaking steps....the falaj is a constant companion....boys carrying up loads of freshly cut grass from below.....the call to prayer echoing back off the far side of the gorge....
Dinner on the roof of the main house - cooked by local village women. Ahmed al Abri was a charming host (perfect English, resplendent in pristine white dishdashah & embroidered cap). He was in Melbourne recently, while his wife studied for a Masters of Eco-tourism at Monash ...