from Riyam Park, between Old Muscat and Muttrah, that goes up through the mountains – for a long time, this was the only way to get between Muttrah and Muscat unless you went by sea.
Today (Friday morning) we decided to give it a try. We arrived in the car park about 7:15….the sun was still musty behind the clouds. Even though it is Ramadan, we carried water and my camera…. and of course, Snoopy came along too. It is nice to go places where he can run off-leash and really get some exercise. And we really need the exercise as well. I took a photo of the trail map, but without my regular glasses, I couldn’t read it. Really dumb!
Straight up! Or, almost, with giant stairs that were almost as high as my knees in some places. This old, rusty pipe carried diesel oil from Muttrah harbour back when the only power station was at Riyam. Snoopy loved being off leash and he sniffed and snooped to his heart’s content. He kept us in his sights most of the time, however.
It didn’t take long before the roundabout and the giant incense burner were a long way off. It was an incredible view, with crumbly-looking brown mountains and deep wadis on every side.We turned the corner, and it was hard to believe that the city was so close. Around another bend, and there, in the distance, lay the Muttrah harbour, with Muttrah fort in the foreground.We didn’t see any more trail markers, and as we were heading to Muttrah, we decided this must be the way. The trail down was mostly loose dirt and rocks, and quite steep – not a whole lot of fun going down. We could see a dam at the bottom of the wadi, and hoped once we got there that there would be an easy path around.
Well, there wasn’t. We did find a way, but the slope was too steep and slippery for Snoopy, and there was no way her would come. There were dogs on the mountains near the dams, and they made a non-stop racket.l I think they are half goat…. Snoopy is NOT.
This black cat poked his head out of the hole in drainage hole in the dam….. and Snoopy didn’t even know he was there. Some dog!Anyway, we headed back the way we had come. It was a long haul up, and I was very tired. When we got to the top, the path down seemed much shorter.When we got home, I googled the wadi walk, and discovered that we had gone the wrong way at the top- – we should have gone farther south into a different wadi, by old falaj (irrigation canals) and an abandoned village, and then meandered along a wadi bottom all the way to Muttrah. If you look back at the map, we turned at the second camera icon.
I guess we’ll have to try it again in September, and go the right way this time. Still, we had some amazing views and the fresh air we needed.