visiting Sur, we headed back into
Muscat, retracing our route along the coast but diverting up a few
spectacular wadis on the way. One of these claims a recently discovered cave
large enough to hangar three Boeing 747 aircraft, though this is not open to
the public yet.
From Muscat we headed
into the mountains and spent 5 days camping in dramatic scenery and changes
Many of the wadis have
fresh water, either from rainfall or springs. For the hot, dusty camper,
these are a welcome relief.
the time was spent
in low ratio 4 wheel drive navigating extremely steep, winding, rocky roads.
In most of the wadis with fresh water, a falaj has been built
taking water down the wadi in a channel to irrigate crops in settlements
further down the wadi.
Shams is 3,010 metres, the highest point in Oman. The road/track winds
for hours upwards towards the distant peak of Jebel Shams.
This is the location of the grandest wadi of them all,
known as the Grand Canyon. At the end fo which we found a village of carpet weavers, who insisted on laying out all their carpets for our viewing.
We camped on the slopes of Jebel Shams and the next day
followed one of the hiking trails to the rim of the Grand Canyon.