Sunday, May 17, 2009

Desert Adventures..

This trip did not need much planning. Just a free weekend during the winter and we were good to go. The bookings for the stay had to be done a few weeks in advance as dune bashing is a popular venture here but not many places offer it.

Wahiba Sands is what the place is called. And it's about a 3 hour drive from Muscat. So a thursday morning saw us get onto our cars and head towards the golden dunes. The roads all over Oman are impressive and surrounded by majestic mountains. The 1st hour of the drive went off smoothly with the kids being busy eating all the snack they had managed to load in their rucsacks. The hubby was enjoying the drive and me the music and the quiet in the backseat. But that was just the first hour.

"How much time more?" said the son and my bells started ringing."Another 2 hours at least." "How much is 2 hours?" Hubby chiped in..."Its a very long time.. so look out of the window and watch the mountains." "What are we going to do when we reach there?" This was the daughter, and I had to rack my brains to come up with a game instantly else this was going to go beyond control. So I suggested we play antakshari. Happily singing songs whose tunes had just our copyrights and that only we could understand we went along the road. Hubby meanwhile was trying his best not to miss out pointers.. the next hour or so went by.

Then a point came where we had to forgo the freeway for the desert terrain, so the wheels were deflated slightly while we got down to stretch our legs. The next 45 minutes or so of the drive was an experience in itself.. wild camels walking peacefully by our car, friendly almost sad eyes looking at us through the windows. This needed a halt definitely, so we stopped got down and saw the camels persistently refuse a drink of lemonade that was being offered to them by the kids.

Finally we reached the camp..

The rest of the evening, after a quick snack of fresh fruits, and some sandwiches followed by 'kahwa' which is the local brew in this part of the world, was spent literally rolling in the sand.

After around 2 hours of this rolling on the dunes, we came back to the camp with a raging appetite. The camp was equipped with good bathrooms and warm water, so the days work and pleasure were washed clean and the appetite further raked. What followed was the most sumptuous desert feast ever, varieties of barbecued meat and vegetables being done so tender that they melt in your mouth. The breads on offer were equally divine and so were the cooling desserts. The meal was being accompanied by Omani folk songs which are quite lilting to the ears.

By the end of the meal, it was almost dark and very quiet. Apart from the inhabitants of this camp, which came to around a maximum of 20, there was no one in sight for miles together. With just the moon and a sky full of stars and the desert chill, I sat outside the tent with a bottle of water and my peace, as the kids and the hubby slept peacefully inside the tents.

The next day started early, with a light breakfast and a quick shower. The tyres of our 4wds were further deflated to do the dune bashing. This was exhilerating to say the climb up a steep wall of sand and then drive on the summit was an experience in itself, the kids clamouring for the view and the shouts of mirth were made the entire trip worthwhile.


aleem azmi said...

very nice...keep it up sujata...u have brilliant idea to be shown the matter of articles with the help of beautiful scenes....thts fabulous...

kochuthresiamma p .j said...

very interesting reading. hearing of such outings first time.
driving thru seserts!!! scary eh?
how do chidren react to extreme heat & cold all in a day?

Aparna said...

Lovely, lovely post. I remember driving through the desert and drinking kahwa from my Muscat days. There were no such camps though. I would like to do this when we go there again. Dune bashing seems like fun.

sujata said...

Thanks @Aleem for being a regular visitor.

@kochuthresiamma It didnt feel scary, and the weather in Oman during the winters is very pleasant, a max temp of 24 degrees celcius(out in the dessert) and a min temp of 14 degrees celcius. The kids had lots of fun and apart from getting a bit sun burnt and parched fared quite well.

@Aparna The next trip that you make outside India has to be here..I have been asking you to do this since long now...make it happen soon.

Babli said...

Beautiful post...I feel that this is one of your best article with lovely photos...Really by seeing the wonderful shots of Muscat I felt like I have reached at Muscat for a moment.

अनिल कान्त : said...

beautiful scenes !!
aapki is post ke sath aapki yatra ke baare mein jankari mili ...achchha laga

Subhie Arun said...

very interesting writing.....well done...keep rocking

Sujatha said...

This is the coolest thing ever! Thanks for writing about it! Will show it to C. He'll love it!

Kavi said...

Very interesting ! It makes me want to take the trip to the desert soon !!

On the one count it is alluring and on is a trifle scary !! Thats the spirit of adventure i guess !!

Enjoyed reading this post. And very insightful too.

Thanks for sharing

Indrani said...

Lovely post!
Desert life can be charming too, especially with the camels all around. It reminded me of my Jaisalmer trip.

Vijay Kumar Sappatti said...

namaskar sujata ,

this is an interesting reading .. thank you ..

meri nayi kavita " tera chale jaana " aapke pyaar aur aashirwad bhare comment ki raah dekh rahi hai .. aapse nivedan hai ki padhkar mera hausala badhayen..



sujata said...

Thanks @Anil and @Babli for liking the post.

Thanks @Subhie for visiting, do come again.

@Sujatha this one was for your son. I hope he likes the pics and will also hope that some day you with your family will enjoy dune bashing venture as much as we did.

@Indrani yah it has lots to offer. and with your camera I am sure you would have captured it all.

Thanks @Vijay for stopping by, will def check your blog soon.

Suma said...

came here from aparna's blog...

loved the picture of the shadows :)

the dune bashing sounds would so appeal to my 11 yrold :)

sujata said...

Thanks Suma, welcome to my blog. Yah shadows are fun to watch in the desert esp as the sun sets, and its a treat for every kid.

amrit said...

Sahi.. Muscat bhi ghoomna padega kabhi :)

sujata said...

what a commenting all that it needed was the nudge eh?? you are most welcome pls do come and visit, Muscat I mean.

Rush said...

there are few such places where to visit and u never wanna leave..ur blog's one such paradise

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Wow Sujata..Hope You Enjoyed Your Trip A Lot..Good Blog..