Sunday March 11, 2012
We arrived last night at about 5pm into our camp after driving 11/2 hours in the desert. Before coming into the desert we had to stop at a garage to let the tire pressure out of the 4×4 tires to be able to drive on the sand. If the tire pressure was kept at the rate for city driving we might have rolled over or got struck in the sand.
|Driving through the sand dunes.|
We got checked in after having a glass of ginger tea and went to our tents. The tents have their own bathroom facilities and two beds or double beds with carpeting on the floor and towels sheets and blankets supplied. If you are someone that gets hot like me, I suggest that you bring a little motorized/battery operated fan that you can use. I took one of the chairs and sat outside and just looked at the sand dunes and watched the sun go down. It wasn’t that clear to get a great sunset because of the fine sand that was blowing around, but it was very pleasant, and so quiet. I think of living in the city, and forget how noisy it is and not sure of how to deal with silence. It is like the silence that you get when you have a hearing problem.
|Our camp in the desert of Oman.|
|One of the tents at the desert camp.|
The weather got cooler in the evening and when the sun goes down it gets very dark, except for the moon which was full the night before last and it was fading a bit. The stars are so clear. The group slept early and this morning I got up at 5am and waited for the sunrise over the sand dunes. Some adventurous people decided to climb up the dunes to get a better view. It was so much fun watching since I do not think they realized that it is very hard to climb in fine sand, each step you take you sink farther and farther in. Once the person got to the top they would just sit and think to themselves “I made it up here, now how do I get down?” Well, you get down either by sliding down on your butt or having a snowboard to do some sand surfing, which is quite a sport in Oman enjoyed by the locals and the foreigners.
I was asking the group what they thought of this trip since I have two people in the group that have never traveled to the Middle East before. They said that what they saw in the Emirates they expected from the media, but they were very surprised at the amount of English spoken in all the countries, also the amount of foreign workers.
They expected that their would be more local workers even though I tried to explain that it was not the case except for Oman, where the ruler has been pushing for the Omanization of the country. English is spoken by so many that they thought it would be an area they could come back to and not worry about traveling on their own or with a partner. They were surprised at the beautiful color of the water, not having pollution, and the beautiful sandy beaches.
They were not sure how they might be taken as Americans, but found that everyone was very friendly.
They expected the foods like chicken and lamb, but for some reason did not realize the amount of seafood that we would have on the trip. They were also surprised at the mixture of foods from India and Pakistan, and some of the spices that are used.
Some comments from the tour group:
- Great food everywhere
- Vehicle 4 wheel drives are comfortable
- Drivers are excellent
- People are warm and friendly
- Hardly anyone speaks Arabic
- Many speak English well
- We were the only Americans that we saw
- People have a sense of the future
- Felt very welcomed, no issues being American
- Very different then she has been before
- Not expecting so much of a Indian and Pakistani influence
- Very clean was not expecting to see this
- Was not expecting a Nigerian guide
- Thought before he came that this would not be safe- people perceptions are very negative
- Told people that he is going to Dubai and they said I thought you were going to the Middle East
- Thought of the movie Sex in the City that was filmed in Dubai
- Loved the food since it was all natural and very good food of vegetable tomatoes, onions
- Oman is the Vermont of the Middle East
- Lots of Germans and Italians