Adventure without risk is Disneyland.Douglas Coupland
I can’t say we had a restful night, the bar downstairs had loud music blaring till 3am, or I think that was the time I fell sleep! We got up relatively early, attempted to have breakfast but there was nothing which came even close to tempting to eat at that time of the day.We had a long drive ahead of us but at least being Friday, it meant that the roads would be relatively quiet….which they were (remember, weekends in the Middle East are Friday and Saturday). We found our way out of Dubai and soon hit the open road. As we traveled further and further, the desert kept changing and soon became what most people imagine a desert to look like; i.e reddish sand and rolling sand dunes! Just before the border I stopped at a petrol station and paid for our Omani car insurance. This was a very humble little office, the poor guy behind the desk was enjoying a nice peaceful snooze….until I arrived. He was quite surprised to see a Brit driving a Qatari plated car driving into Oman. Not unheard of but not a regular occurrence either.
We left the United Arab Emirates and a few kilometres later arrived at the Omani border. This was to be a similar drill to entering UAE. We parked up and entered the building for immigration. This was a bit busier than the other borders but after paying our fee to enter the country we were once again driving through the various booths, handing in bits of paper and hearing that reassuring sound of a stamp on a passport! A smiley Omani welcomed us to their country and we were off!
Once again, the desert changed from undulating rolling dunes to mountainous terrain, and when I say mountainous, I mean mountainous! Not the sort of mountains you may be used to but bare rock mountains resembling a scene you would expect to find in Mars!
The roads in Oman are great and at 120 kph with little traffic it was a pleasure to drive. As we neared the sea the mountains faded into the distance and for some 300 + km we drove on a dual carriageway with roundabouts at regular intervals. What was very different to the other countries we had driven in is that rather than driving through baron emptiness, we were constantly driving along houses and shops, for the entire trip. As we got closer to Muscat the vegetation was amazing. Even though it was 45 degrees, there was greenery, grass and trees, quite remarkable!
We arrived at our hotel (part of the same chain as the one we stayed in Dubai). We went to our room and once again, there was no bed for Katja. I popped down to reception and made my feelings known! Soon we had a mattress for Kati! Now it was time to chill out and enjoy our break, knowing that there was no driving to be done for four days.
Next Part: Awesome Muscat