Remember the “Sunscreen Song” by Baz Luhrmaan back in 1999? Well my advice to you is ‘WEAR INSECT REPELLENT”. You cannot believe how many beasties are queueing up to taste your blood! Even covering ourselves with insect repellent we managed to accumulate about half a dozen bites each, so pack some bite relief cream and some antiseptic cream too! (If you are very fair skinned like me you will need to pack sunscreen too – I got slightly sunburnt on a day with 100% cloud cover!)
We visited the Kareef Festival early one evening, in fact too early because there wasn’t much in the way of entertainment happening, but we did pause to watch the traditional dancing. The main exhibition tent was full of stalls, most of selling stuff you can buy at Dragon Mart, so nothing special there unfortunately. Neil also observed that many of the fire exits were chained and padlocked shut, so we didn’t stay too long. We didn’t see anything we wanted to buy in the book fair either, many of the books being in Arabic. Most of the signs in the exhibition field were in Arabic too, so even if there had been some amazing event on, we wouldn’t have been able to read about it!
If you are travelling to Oman, you might consider getting a Hayyak simcard from Omantel. Visit one of their offices with either your passport or your GCC ID card, and you can buy one of these for only 3 OMR. 3G isn’t as good as the UAE, but it is much cheaper – 1 week’s 1GB package is only 3 OMR.
For those who want a great camping spot – only 2kms from Mugysail beach up a track – co-ordinates are N16 53.712 E53 46.749. Facilities zero. Star rating *****!
The view from our tent – hidden from view from the main road but yet we can still see the Indian Ocean beyond it.
If you travel towards Salalah you can expect to be stopped at Police and Military checkpoints. These are nothing to worry about, just make sure you have your car registration card and your driving licence or ID card handy as you will have to show them.
We spent our last 4 nights in Oman at the Marriott at Mirbat, not the best hotel and certainly not the international 4 star standard we were expecting. The best thing about it though, and we found this by chance, were the turtles swimming off the sea – as close as 30m from the shore. On our last day in Salalah, our “rest” day, we spent a couple of hours watching the huge turtles, probably green or hawksbill. Big thanks to my friend Sheena for letting me use this great photo of a hawksbill she took while diving)
Hope you have enjoyed my Salalah Series blog, and hope you get a chance to go there to experience it yourself, the photos do not do it justice! Remember to read books/blogs/articles that correspond with the time you are going. Salalah is a completely different place in the winter.
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