I hate both cold weather and the commercialism of Christmas back “home”, so for the 6th consecutive year we spent Christmas in the Gulf. But what to do for a difference? Start as I always do, with a to-do list!
1) Locate Oilfield Christmas Tree we first discovered on our 2012 trip to Oman.
2) Decorate Christmas Tree
3) Have lunch in the brilliant Oasis Club in Salalah.
Sounds quite simple but in reality the tree was on the edge of the Umm As Sameem (translates as the “Mother of All Worries/Poisons”) which is a huge salt mud flat, up to 50km wide, accessible via rough tracks and sand dunes in the Empty Quarter of Oman. The second point to note was that Salalah is 1100kms distant from Al Ain, so an epic journey was inevitable!
Rough plans were made, hotels booked for 3 nights of an 8 night holiday, camping supplies were gathered and before we knew it the 19th of December had come round and it was time to head south for some winter warmth. Honestly, after 6 years in the UAE, daytime temps less than 25C and night-time ones below 18C feel COLD!
Task 1 – completed easily – it was still in the same place we left it in 2012! GPS co-rds are N21° 24.021′ E56° 03.475′.
Task 2 – Done! Even brought some mince pies along to sustain us whilst decorating it!
Task 3 – A most enjoyable meal served by friendly staff with lovely carol singing in the background. Well done Oasis Club – was well worth the journey!
I hope all my readers had a lovely and peaceful Christmas – very best wishes to you all from the “sandpit”.