The Oasis of Oman: Salalah
16th July 2011, Saturday
Having finished with breakfast and loading up the car with snacks and beverages, we took the road that led out of the city toward the main attractions of the day. We headed out from Salalah, via Haffa, Taqah, past Mirbat and on to Wadi Derbat.
Haffa and Taqah are basically dry and dusty, with some brush growing around stony terrain. The mountains can be seen in the distance. Most of the land around Taqah is deserted with a pale green look of mountain and desert shrubs and with fodder crops growing here and there . There are many areas which look like typical pastures, and off and on you can see herds of cows grazing. Many times, vehicles have to stop in order to give way for the cows to walk across.
There is a road from the Taqah - Mirbat route that diverts to the Taqah beach. We did not head in that direction as we had planned on visiting other beaches, and more because entering the waters is not allowed during this season.
We bye-passed Mirbat and diverted left to Wadi Derbat. The diversion took us uphill and it was like an instant transformation. From the dry barrenness of the Mirbat area to a lush green paradise on the other side of the pass.
From here, I will let the pictures do the talking.
As mentioned in my previous page, these hills are loaded with tiny fleas, snails, and different kinds of crawlers. We had to lather ourselves with the insect repellent 'Jungle Formula' before entering these areas. If not, we'd be swollen red with the allergies.
After hanging around Derbat for about half an hour, we proceeded to the main area of Mirbat. Mirbat is basically dry, rugged terrain that leads to the Mirbat beach.
Zero gravity road view
This pictures of the road (without the camels) is a particular section at Mirbat which is unique for its ZERO GRAVITY area. About 800 - 1000 meters of the road uphill is gravity free. Our car went uphill for that distance with the engine switched off and at 60 km/hr. Amazing.
Mirbat beach pics with warning sign
From Mirbat beach, we took the road heading towards Tawi Atayr via Jabal Yoor. This area of the land looks like a lush green, soft carpet has been laid out. Herds of cows can be seen grazing.
From Jabal Yoor, we went back to Taqah, and then back to Salalah via Nasheb, Humrah, Ayn Razat and South Dahazir.
Ayn Razat Roundabout
There is a horse ranch which can be seen a distance away from the main road, where the Sultan Kaboos' horses are bred and reared.
Dahazir is a typical Salalah town with a lot of roadside shops selling fruits, especially the locally grown bananas and coconuts. We stopped by and drank tender coconut water.
Banana and coconut plantations in Dahazir
The South Dahazir road leads into the main Salalah City road.
This brought us to the end of the trip east and back.
The morning session ended with lunch at Chinese Cascade on 23 July Street.
More to follow.....