Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dhow Cruise along the Musandam Coast - Oman

Another weekend, another adventure! This time it's because of a GoNabbit deal sent to my inbox. If you're not familiar with GoNabbit, it's a discount website that offers a new deal each weekday at 50% of more off the original price. Most days it's manicures, massages or restaurant deals, but this particular one was for a full day Dhow cruise along the Musandam coast, including transportation from Abu Dhabi - a good deal!

We started from Abu Dhabi at 6am. Well, actually, it was more like 6:10am because per usual, the driver couldn't find our place. :) A little over 3 hours in we hit the checkpoint for Oman where we had to show our passports and purchase an Oman visa. Pretty easy as our driver knew the ropes and handled most everything. Then, a long and winding road along the coast to Khasab where we met our Dhow boat. Well, actually, because we were about 20 minutes late, we got on another boat that had been reserved for a private charter and they dropped us off on our assigned cruise. (Yes, even in UAE the Stolls are late!! :) Here are a few pics of the drive along the coast.

We made it to the boat and settled in. The floors were covered with Iranian carpets and there were pillows and cushions to lay back on. Luckily, there was also a decent tarp cover to provide some shade as it was already getting pretty hot. We travelled through a long fjord called Khor Sham, which they've also named the "Norway of Arabia". Not so much - it's pretty in its own way, but nothing like the photos I've seen recently from Brad & Sherry's trip to Norway. As we travelled, we often had some dolphin friends hanging out and frolicking in our wake. I took about 20 pictures of them and below is the one that actually turned out. ;)

There was a German lady providing information on some of the areas of the trip - not sure if she came with the pack of Germans on the trip or with the boat, but she was nice enough to deliver the same info in English for us. This next photo is the first village of the fjord named Nadifi. There are around 120-150 people living there (which she said equated to about 5 different families) and they are fishermen. The children travel to school in Khasab by boat (there is no land access here). Despite how it looks, these families are very rich from fishing and most own a second larger home on the mainland.

We stopped at two different spots to do a little swimming and snorkeling and had a nice Arabic lunch on board the Dhow. A wonderful, relaxing day.

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