Monday, September 25, 2023 | Rabi' al-awwal 9, 1445 H
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Four days of magical exploration of Oman’s enchanting wadis and caves

What can you do in four days in Oman? Guiding French friends to discover Oman, this explorer took his guests to Wadi Al Hail’s lush beauty, Al Tahiri Cave’s grandeur, and Wadi Shab’s magnificence creating an unforgettable journey unveiling the country’s enchanting wonders
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A few months ago, some French friends sent me a message asking if I could guide their friends to discover a few hidden gems in Oman. As usual, I am very happy to share the beauty of this amazing country with everybody.

Sandrine and Laurent arrived on April 11 to spend one week in Oman. I picked them up at their hotel in Muscat early morning and we drove south to Wadi Al Hail, one of my favourite wadis close to Qurayat.

We reached the village of Al Swayh around 9 am after a 90-minute drive.

The weather was good and the temperature was around 27 degrees.

We crossed the lush green gardens of the village following the falaj until we reached the wadi bed. The water was flowing and the waterfalls were running as it rained a couple of days before.

After around 45 minutes of scrambling and bouldering, we reached a long crystal clear pool that we had to cross swimming where the wadi becomes quite narrow and we could not avoid getting wet.

After this pond, the wadi widens and we were progressing following the left bank walking near numerous superb pools.

Our final destination was the 20m high waterfall that we reached after around 2 hours of trekking, swimming, and bouldering, where we stopped for a break.

My new friends enjoyed the pool under the waterfall before we head back to the car. We drove for around 1 hour to reach our camping spot in the mountain above the village of Fins. We had a delicious dinner while contemplating the seashore from the mountain.

The next day I planned to take my visitors to one of my favourite places in the country, Al Tahiri Cave — a huge resurgence measuring 80m high and across that drains the rain swallowed by four sinkholes on the plateau of Salma.

The trail to the cave is spectacular with majestic views of the canyon below. To reach the entrance of the cave we suffered from the heat as we were walking in the sun all the time but it was worth it.

The way back to the car was very pleasant as the clouds protected us from the sun. We camped at the same place and the next morning we visited the wonderful village of Taab renowned for its houses built on the cliffs and its magnificent gardens.

When we went back to our camping site, the sky was covered with clouds over the mountains and we received a few droplets of rain.

For the last day, I decided to take my friends to the famous Wadi Shab — a must-see wadi in Oman. They were very happy to finish their “adventurous journey” with an easy trip before going back to rest one day at the hotel before returning to France.

Finally, a few words that Laurent and Sandrine sent me to summarise their trip to Oman were “An exceptional environment; four very different days of walking, swimming, and caving. Even with 30 degrees in the shade the paths chosen by Khaled are skillfully studied, always a little shade at the right time, a swimming pool in the river for an express swim and to “cool down the engine.” The discovery of these magnificent places is a sport for everyone but also very complete where you sometimes have to swim, climb, get help from our expert Khaled, find the right support to go higher and discover, almost alone in the world, at the end of the canyon, a spring gushing out at the bottom of the white sandstone of the cliff.”

Finally, they ended the note with “We discovered varied and extraordinary landscapes, canyons, oases, pools of clear water, a very present fauna, sometimes lunar atmospheres, lots of stones on the paths, a monumental cave and above all a lot of magical images that we are not ready to forget.”

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