Salalah charm delights globetrotter biker

SALALAH, May 8 – He puts many hats at the same time. He is a collector of rare stones, dealer of stones, a keen paraglider, biker and above all an adventurer who is ready to take any kind of risk anytime. A globetrotter Gilberto Bortolini of Brazil has travelled more than 44 countries on his bike and is now in Salalah covering its vastness of mountains, sea and wide desert area. He seems to have lost in the beauty of Salalah and candidly admits that he does not feel like going from here. “During my biking journey I generally stay for about two to three days at one place, but here in Salalah I am staying for the last six days and still continuing… enjoying its climate, greenery and hospitality.
“All are unique and surprise to me sometimes that how all ingredients of beauty can combine at one place,” he said, before starting to talk about his interest in biking and other things.
Forty-four countries, 72,000 km and the longest distance covered in one day is 930 km, is something Gilberto tells with ease about his biking journey.
He is on road with his bike for the last 33 years.
The current journey he started in 2016 from Brazil and went back to take rest for two months when he got injured while pursuing his interest of paragliding in course of his bike journey.
“Thus I am not stationed in one city for more than six months be it biking or my work or home… that too is very long as even for my work I do not stay for more than two months in one city… Something happens and I take my bike and start moving,” he said.
Gilberto, 58, purchased his first bike when he was 21-year-old.
He grew up to purchase more sophisticated motorbikes and currently roaming around the world on a BMW F650GS.
He admitted to have heard many good things about Oman before his journey but the hospitality he received from Omanis he was not prepared for. “While coming from Dubai, I put my tent on a beach in Oman (I really don’t remember the place). I was about to sleep when a family approached me asking if I needed anything. Then they kept my bike in their house and invited me for breakfast next morning.”

He also mentioned the help he got from some Omani bikers on the way to Salalah, in Rustaq. “My bike developed some snag. They gave their valuable time in fixing the problem. Invited me to their house for a night stay… and next morning I started for Salalah.”
He had countless such encounters after he entered Oman. The feeling of being safe in the country made his Oman journey memorable. He finds great tourism opportunities in Salalah and called for development of adventure sports as the place has huge scope for this. A keen paraglider, Gilberto recommended setting up of paragliding facilities to attract tourists and entertain regular visitors.

Kaushalendra Singh