I was just right behind him. I only took a few seconds to take a photo and when I moved in his direction, he was gone.
"Do you want to see something magical?" He teased when we were parked right behind the gloomy, now seemingly abandoned Wadi Shab Resort in Fins.
I've known Ahmed al Jaabri for 6 years now and when he asks the said question, he usually has an amazing surprise up his sleeve. We were on an impromptu trip so he can create content for his Instagram @oman_outdoor_adventure.
We drove past the pebble beach, into this narrow unpaved road that would have been impossible to pass had we not brought along a four-wheel drive. We also passed by a beautiful cove with a white sand beach Ahmed said is perfect for a picnic in the winter.
"This place," he said, "you would have a hard time finding a spot for camping in the winter. There's a reason why this is a lot of outdoor lovers' favourite," he said.
Fins is the long stretch of property between Bimmah Sinkhole up to the rugged shores of Qalhat, the famed Unesco heritage site where the storied Mausoleum of Bibi Maryam can be found. Barely 45 minutes from the capital, its coastal cliffs, pebbly or sandy beaches and bushy landscape had been host to numerous campers in the last decade and being very accessible to the capital, is a great alternative for beach lovers hoping to find a private beach to while the afternoon away.
I called out his name and heard a faint response coming from underground. As I got nearer to this hole in the ground, I found him carefully climbing his way done.
"You need to come down slowly and carefully," he said.
When he got to the lowest point, I followed where he was headed with my gaze. From where I was perched on top, a large opening opens up to a beautiful view of a cove and the infinite view of the nearby cliff and the bluest of skies.
"I'd been here many times but I've never known about this place," I said in between my breath.
Climbing down can be a bit challenging. Some of the rocks and stones are loose and they easily get dislodged. Without any ropes, it's just you sticking your fingers on nooks and crannies of the cave and whatever will stabilize you as you climb down, you hold on tight.
It's understandable why a lot of people who had been to Fins never found out about the cave. It was well hidden underground and the opening is so small that it looks like just another blowhole.
I slowly climbed down with every bit of caution reminding our two other companions to find the route which was easiest to them. If you slip going down, you'd definitely end up with lacerations as most of the stones are sharp.
The barely three-minute descent yielded a quite beautiful view. To my estimate, the cave is barely 40 metres by 40 metres in size. It's about 15 feet high and opens out to the sea which is about a 20 metres drop.
Some call the cave the Romantic Cave. It was what was written on Google map too. We call it the Lovers' Cave because of the odd heart shape that the mouth of the cave forms facing the ocean.
There's nothing much inside except perhaps hundreds of years of erosion. In one specific corner, blowhole blasts cold air from the sea below and along with it, the song of the waves as it ebbs and flows and throwing itself to the rocky cliff below.
We spent barely an hour inside. While the cooler temperature in the cave was a welcome respite from the hot temperature on the ground, we find bringing our picnic baskets down the hole too tedious and laborious we decided to eat late lunch in the nearby pebble beach.
As we climbed out the hole, we knew that we discovered an Instagram worthy location — one that will put the cave on the map. With the photos we took, it didn't take long for it to go viral with dozens of people asking for the location.
If ever you're going for a visit, just a very strong reminder to be vigilant and be very careful in your descent or ascent. We also urge you to park your cars as far as possible as it might result in the top covering falling into the cave.
For more details or a guided trip, reach out to Ahmed al Jaabri on Instagram @ahmed_aljaabri or through @oman_outdoor_adventure.