It wasn’t an all girl’s trek but the hiking trip organised by Oman Outdoor Adventure on January 5 was a first for many of its women participants. As we planned that week’s destination, we came to the conclusion that we wanted to visit Wadi Quri which is located in Samail. Having been to different nooks and crannies of the country, I can definitely say that Wadi Quri is an incredible place — very peaceful with its own unique beautiful charm.
To the uninitiated, Wadi Quri is about an hour drive from Muscat. Our typical meet-up point is at a petrol station near Sahwa Park.
Perhaps what is most notable about this wadi is the well maintained aflaj that snaked its way all over the area. A recommended hiking trail for beginners, even women can easily navigate this hiking haven.
About half an hour of walk from where one parks the vehicle will lead to the main attraction of the trip — a waterfall about 10 feet high which water drops to a pool that is very cold during the winter months. Not far from this are smaller pools turned emerald green because of the algae and thriving water plants.
Near the beauty of nature
As first time participant, Noor narrated, “Our trip to Wadi Quri was delightful. The hike was easy and pleasant. It was truly great for beginners. It took us around half an hour to reach to a waterfall which was the main attraction of the trip. Blue cloudy sky, greenish clear water and the relaxing sound of the waterfall made it all an ideal time for Haitham’s, one of the organising members,” coffee.”
Full-blooded Moroccan Hala had been in the country for 10 years.
“I chose to join the team and instantly liked it as everyone was so nice, helpful and friendly. Ahmed really understands how leaders should be,” she shared.
“Living in big cities have a certain effect on you. Out hiking in Wadi Quri, the open air had a bracing effect on my mind. The congestion of the city, the uproar and tumult, the intolerable noise of traffic, the depressing daily routine — all these were forgotten and the mind was set free.”
“The trip took me near the beauties of nature. A contact was established between us and nature. With heightened power of observation, nothing escaped our eyes. Even though it was a short walk, I can feel the exercise was creating a change in me internally. It was a beautiful place for hiking,” she added.
For Filipino-born Khezia, “The trek to Wadi Quri was short and easy but I struggled with the narrow path as I have poor balancing skills but was able to pull it off through the group’s help.”
She added, “Like finding oasis in a desert, Wadi Quri is stunning on its own way hidden amidst spectacular rock formations. You just need to look up the clear sky, feel the cold breeze, appreciate the beauty of nature that surrounds you and take them all in.”
“This was my second time coming and everytime I visit, I always discover something new that leave me speechless,” Croatian Jasmina shared.
“The canyons in Wadi Quri were full of interesting aflaj. We were walking on them and with good company, seeing the beautiful turquoise pool made the trip definitely worthy to be redone,” she added.
As an Omani, it is understandable to see Ethar yearn to see the interesting places all over the country.
“As a child, I grew up with deep love for nature. As years passed, this love seems to expand till it started to feel like it’s impossible to hold. My family realized my passion and started taking my siblings and I on trips to explore different places in Oman,” she shared.
“Now as a 20-year-old lady, my family trips started to feel too easy for me and I started wondering how I can level up. I wanted to try harder hikes, longer roads, and unforgettable adventures. Before making any plans, this opportunity came and when my friend Hala told me about the group, I decided take the opportunity to join in a snap,” she added.
The hike made so much impression on Ethar that she would eventually call her parents to tell them about the great time she had.
TWO HAPPY CELEBRATIONS
While everyone thought that the trip would end after getting to Muscat, what the rest of the team didn’t realise is that the core group has decided to prepare a small celebration for Jasmina who was celebrating her birthday.
Everyone was informed that the group is camping for the night at Bandar al Khayran of which participants were very positive about.
“By the time we came to the end of our wadi journey, we were hungry as a hawk. After lunch, we went to Bandar al Khayran for camping. It was a great opportunity to enjoy a great beach view,” Hala shared.
“They took us to the island in the boats and I felt the fresh air and the smell of the sea. As we reached the island, we started exploring the place and setting our tents while the rest of the team were preparing our dinner. In a short time, we found ourselves all gathered around the fire and eating the delicious barbecue,” Ethar said.
“By chance that night, there were two happy events — one was that of Oman winning the Gulf Cup and the other, Jasmina’s — a very nice lady who is part of this big family — birthday. We partied — there were fireworks and cake and the great dinner made it to be one of the best nights of my whole life,” she added.
For Khezia, “I couldn’t believe that Oman is a very beautiful country with so much natural wonders to explore hidden beyond the sand and Rocky Mountains as every expat’s first impression. I’ve told one friend back in my country how good it is to feel home in a foreign country with people of different culture and nationality.”
Overall, Hala said “For this two-day trip, I had all kinds of fun. If I would rate it — it will definitely be a 10 out of 10. It was a wonderful start for many hikes to come inshallah.”
Ahmed al jabri