Wadi Bani Khalid

I’ve been to Wadi Bani Khalid three times.  The first was in the spring of 2006.  David and I spent a week in Oman, and had driven down to Ras Al Jinz to turtle watch.  On the way back to Muscat, we saw something about springs and a cave in the Lonely Planet guidebook, and decided to check it out. 

Wow… the road went up and up and down and down…. but we finally arrived, only to discover that a flood had torn up the road.  The only way to reach the pools was to clamber over hugs boulders… these were the small ones. A local boy offered to guide us through the greenery at the edge… along the falaj (water channel).  He took us to see a banana tree…. and then insisted on 5 rials for his services… and we were too green to argue.

There were no concession or changing rooms there then… but it was worth the climb. This small child and donkey were near the bottom of the climb.

When David’s cousins visited in February, we went again… and luckily, there are now change rooms, otherwise only the men would have been able to swim.  And the road has been repaired.The water was clear and just cool enough to be refreshing.  We climbed up to the mouth of the cave, and David and Gary went inside, but not all the way to the waterfall.  It is very dark inside, and you need flashlights…… Gary kept taking photos and they used the flash to show them the way.  The openings got just too tight to go on in the dark.  Dawn and I don’t do caves… so we waited outside.

On the way back, the guys went in one of the deeper pools… and by the yelps as they entered, it was fairly cold.  And then, Gary had to jump from the cliff into about 20 meters of water.  It made a nice refreshing stop on a warm day.

And we didn’t take the Bedouin taxi back to the car.

Last week, Sue and I made the trip.  It is too nice a place to miss just because you’ve been there before.  The mountains are very interesting… many different colours and shapes of rocks and cliffs.  We watched the elevation rise from under 500 meters to 800…. lots of driving in 1st and second gear.  How come I’m always driving?

Mid-week and with the weather warming up, it wasn’t nearly as crowded as the last time.  We were way-laid by a herd of goatsand then had a bite to eat at the concession.  After dipping our feet in the cool water, away we went, as we still had quite a drive ahead of us, and wanted to reach Muscat before dark.

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