If you’re looking for a spot to have a picnic, don’t delay your journey and head to Salalah where you will find many places with lush greenery ‑‑ to go for a long drive or to simply sit and relax. If you have any such plans, you have to take a quick call, as there are people who are already having this fun of roaming around Salalah mountains and calling their near and dear ones with the scenic photos of the places to come and grab the moment before the greenery turns brown.
The rush on the mountain roads is a testimony to the fact that a set of people who like greenery but not slush and slippery roads are coming to Salalah even after the weakening of the monsoon and opening of schools.
Among the people making long queues of cars on roads are also the residents of Salalah, who choose to make way for the guests during the peak of the Khareef season and Salalah Tourism Festival that keeps people occupied with a range of entertaining events.
One of the most popular picnic locations this time around is Jibjat, which has a perfect and natural picnic setting offered by the trees that look like umbrellas and offer nice shade for long hours.
This location is so popular among the local people that sometimes it becomes difficult to get a place, as all the places under the trees get occupied by the early birds.
For the late birds who also love to come to Jibjat, they enjoy camping at its wide expanse enjoying the great outdoors at the comfort of their personal tents even during night time.
For these latecomers, they are packed with some eatables that can last them for hours including the needs of children who also enjoy running on the grass just like some of the adults. After a sound sleep in the evening, they would usually pack and go the next morning making the space available again for the early risers. This cycle continues till the mountains get brown and the heat starts building up.
“Some of them love to cook outdoors in the lap of nature with the help of their camp kitchens and stuff they keep ready in their cars for the season, said Hamrir resident Ali al Sahri.
“It is amazing to cook food in the lap of nature and eat along with family and friends. The feeling is amazing. This time around the monsoon weakens and the sky becomes clear which gives a great view of stars. People feel the need for blankets as night heralds. … Getting up early with the chirping of birds and sun rays coming directly on our eyes give us rare feeling,” he added.
Lush greenery and natural flow of water here and there work as mood elevators. Roads connecting to tourist spots are still busy with visitors who can be seen occupying high planes with their picnic kits or food items prepared at home.
The places which have turned into picnic spots apart from Jibjat and Wadi Darbat, are Itin Mountains, Ain Homran, Mughsail, Ain Sahalnut, Ain Jarjij, Ain Rajat, Ain Athum and some of the public parks which have come up recently in Itin and Dahariz.
Activities continue on
other parts of Dhofar
People will continue to flock to Salalah even after the khareef is totally over. On the last days of the season, families still revisit their usual favourites — from the different waterfalls like Ayn Athum and Ayn Khor to the tourist-friendly Wadi Darbat.
Jabal Samhan with its sea of clouds has become a social media phenomenon with a lot of tourists sharing some of their breathtaking photos showcasing the beauty of the whole mountain.
In Mugsayhl, kids continue to enjoy the clean fun of the blowholes while their parents are also entertained by the beautiful beach a few kilometres away.
Others also go on historical visits. Dhofar will always be known as the land of frankincense so hundreds will still take the time to visit some of Salalah’s popular souqs to buy the treasured luban. Others find their way to Prophet Ayoub’s tomb, the different museums as well as the storied Samharam and its scenic mountains.
Camels too will pick up their phase and a lot of them returns to their homes. The moral of the story is not to miss Salalah this time around.