Oman Observer

Explore Muscat’s ‘secret paths’

Every Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, the soothing winter sun welcomes nearly 50 trekkers aged between eight and 50 years. Their mission: hike up to capture a stunning view of the capital Muscat. In the Sultanate, trekkers set their trails along the winding wadis, rocky terrains or cave tunnels as well as in the capital city.

Short treks, though not easy, are satisfying for both mind and the body. The best are those that offer a breathtaking view of Muscat and the shoreline that runs parallel to the city.
Adventure Oman, a group of trekkers, holds expeditions within Muscat Governorate and other known spots around the country. Its short city treks are all about going on short and captivating walks to discover numerous “hidden” lanes.
For many, trekking is a weekend activity undertaken under the expert guidance in Muscat. A team of experienced “leaders” often gather to “explore the unexplored” in the city.
“Many places that lie hidden offer a panoramic view of Muscat, which draws our members to treks we organise every weekend,” says Arun D’Souza, the team leader and founder of Adventure Oman group.
It’s a voluntary/ non-profit amateur group formed by experienced hikers and spelunkers (cave explorers), who pursue adventure activities such as camping, snorkelling, trekking, off-road driving, rock climbing, among others. They meet every weekend and set off on the beaten track in Muscat and beyond.
These trails include places such as old Muscat, Yiti, Hamriya, Al Khoud, Wadi Kabir, Bandar Al Khairan, Mumtaz Hills, among others.
The short treks do not stretch beyond an hour and most of these are child-friendly. They include short/ steep climbs and strenuous walks, especially on stairs, which require focus as they can be slippery.
“Some treks are open to all groups. Children starting from eight years can take part in the ‘open-to-all’ category. Our treks are organised for all depending on their age, experience and endurance,” says Arun.
Winter or summer, the hikers pack their bags with essential gear – hiking stick, gloves, comfortable clothing, water and snacks – depending on the difficulty level of each trek in pursuit of secret paths.
According to Arun Lobo, an experienced team leader from Adventure Oman, the right equipment is a must. “We ensure each hiker carries two litres of water along with some oranges and dates for instant energy.”
He says bags should be light. “It is important to wear full-length clothing to avoid insect bites and scratches from thorny bushes.”
Ajit Prabhakar Risbud and his wife Megha, both regular trekkers, have a long list of places they have enjoyed hiking. But the best, according to them, are Muttrah Geo trek, Mumtaz hills, Hamriya hills, MQ hills.
“The view of the city from these hills makes me go speechless. On the other hand, Yiti hills, Bandar al Khairan and Shangri La hills offer a beautiful sight of shoreline that runs parallel to the city,” they said.
Follow the Adventure Oman on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/AdventureOman/

SWATI BASU DAS
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