Hadbeen is a very typical Omani town – very rural. We managed to find a small coffee shop that made chicken sandwiches, and he ran to the store for Pepsi for us. We sat outside, and along came the water truck. Everyone had their water jugs out to fill, small and large. We talked to a young man who told us about the abalone they caught and dried there – quite expensive, too. He also told us that a storm was forecast for that night, so the roads would be impassible tomorrow.
There was an auto body shop just across the road – we imagined that they were doing quite a good business with the roads the way they were. I saw this sign on a shop near where we parked the car…… translations are amazing sometimes, aren’t they. If I ever need to get dents put in my car, now I know where to go!
The Omanis who had been driving ahead of us came to ask us if we were going farther along the road to Hasik. They said the road was better, and the scenery was very nice, as the highway follows the shore almost the whole way there – it’s only another 30 km or so. Well, it was only 1:45 pm, what else would we do with the afternoon? David asked them to go ahead, and we would follow.
And did I mention that there were camels walking along the road? Here we were on a makeshift road just after a wet crossing.Then we forded some streams again – including a few where I would just as soon have turned back. David, however, is much more adventurous than I, and as HE was the driver (good thing) on we went – until we reached to road into Hasik.
It, like Hadbeen, is on the FAR side of the wadi….. and we weren’t going to try this one. After all, we could see the town now, and we could also see young men up to their necks in the water just beside the road through the wadi.
We stopped a few places on the way back to Hadbeen to take photos, and took a stroll up to these old walls – they look like very old houses, although a few seem to be used as fishing shelters or storage for gear. There were a lot of shells on this high ledge, so weathered that only the mother-of-pearl was left.
The rocks along the way change in form and composition at almost every bend. I’ve decided that if I had my life to live over again, I would be a geologist, as rocks and formations have always fascinated me. Wish I’d been smart enough to figure that out the first time round.
After the ford at Hadbeen, we stopped at a wadi and walked along it toward the sea….. after about 45 minutes, we realized we were still along way from the crashing waves, and had better turn back or we wouldn’t make it back to Mirbat before dark…. one really doesn’t want to be fording streams in the dark. It was a lovely walk, though, and a good run for Snoopy.
When we finally arrived at the turn-off to Sadah, we went the kilometer into the town, and were surprised by the size of it. We were also a bit surprised to discover that main street, which ran down to the ocean, was a river.
Still more fording between Sadah and Mirbat, but nothing too scary, so even in the dark, we made it back without incident. We were more than ready for a beer and supper.. and an interesting conversation with Said, an Omani who is working in the oilfield, and had brought his family for a one night holiday from Salalah.
It was a great day…. I’m really glad that we had the chance to go to Salalah again and see more of the countryside.
Here are a few more photos.