Monday, March 30, 2015

Somewhere near Ar Rustaq

The weekend before big packing was spent driving again. This time we did not have any exact plans where to go, but Ar Rustaq direction seemed nice enough and we were just following some signs. We went to some wadi (which name I have forgotten by now) and it surprised us with interesting sights: middle of regular mountains there were some lonely sand dunes. It felt like they had gone lost...

Find the camel

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Misfah Al Abryeen

We spent last weekend with dear guests in Hajar Mountains. It is the area where there is enough to do for several days (Nizwa, Jebel Shams, Jebel Al Akhdar), so we decided to stay overnight in the area as well. Our dear friends had stayed in one accommodation in Misfah Al Abryeen village in January and it sounded really interesting, so we decided to try this out as well. Old House in Misfah is indeed an unique place to stay at! We met the host in the parking lot who took us through the village to the accommodation. The walk through the village is already special: you walk on narrow paths, surrounded by date palm and banana trees, there are stairs to climb, old houses everywhere. In the evening we were provided a dinner buffet under the stars. The rooms were very simple but nice and hearing roosters crowing and a donkey to sound all through the night gave a feeling of staying in a real countryside :)

Our room
Terrace in front of our room


We had been to the desert several times before but it was only some weekends ago when we stayed overnight there as well. There are several camping places in the desert, we chose Sand Delight Camp where our dear friends had stayed in January and who suggested the place. It is a small camping with only 8 tents but this is what we preferred: a small place with not too many people. And indeed, besides us there were only 3 adults and 1 kid staying in the camping same time, so it was kind of private. We were unlucky with the weather, it was a strong wind, so our hair and mouth were constantly full of sand but it did not impair our experience. Before the sunset we climbed up the sand dune but as it was truly windy we did not stay there until sunset. Though, the kids had fun with sand-sledging down the dune:) Later we enjoyed delicious dinner (included in the price) and afterwards the host made a bonfire, so we could stare at the stars and enjoy the silence of the desert.
Next day we planned to drive around the desert a bit but it was still storming and the visibility was really bad, so we returned soon.
Sand Delight Camp
Our tent
Playing in a huge sandbox :)
Storm in the desert

Monday, February 16, 2015

Muscat Festival in 2015

This year, Muscat Festival took place again. It is a festival that takes place for a whole month, every single evening. There were different events in various places in the city, and two main venues: Al Amerat and Naseem parks. Last year we visited the festival only in Al Amerat park but this year we also went to Naseem park. In our opinion in Amerat park there was more to look at and enjoy while in Naseem there was mainly an amusement park. Though, in Naseem there was also a village of dinosaurs this year and it was really impressive!

Nobody of us was brave enough to ride a camel 
Not a good photo... but the boys could ride a donkey :)

Waiting for some Arabic food

Wadi Tiwi

We had passed Wadi Tiwi uncountable times but it was only now we thought to drive into the wadi and explore it further. Actually we did not drive far at all because the road is really narrow there and it had been a nerve wracking drive when other cars had driven towards (and it had meant driving backwards until the wider part of the road). Instead, we parked our car and had a walk in the village, passing date palms and banana trees on both side of the road.
Under the starts the drive to the wadi

In honor!

Not much space left from one car on the road

One of the mosques in the village

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Organic Food and Ecological Products in Oman... a year later

About a year ago I wrote about the selection of organic food and ecological products in Oman. Now, a year later I am ready to make a short update. There have been some small changes.

Coming back this autumn I noticed Carrefour (at least their Qurum branch) had a special counter for ecological cleaning products - no need to look for them among regular products any more :)

Sultan Center seems to have the best choice of organic food. Sadly, when it comes to cleaning/washing products the situation is similar to other stores: the selection is very poor.

Al Fair has also a good selection of organic food, seems to have more organic products than Lulu or Carrefour.

Still no natural disposable diapers available in Oman :( I have had luck to find Libero diapers with Nordic Ecolabel in a pharmacy in Muscat Grand Mall and this is probably the best one can find here.

Still no organic food store in Muscat but The Organics Food and Cafe from Dubai delivers to Muscat twice per month, well done!
Something else that is in my mind: the squandering of plastic bags. If you go grocery shopping here then all the products that you buy are packed into many and many plastic bags. The persons who help to pack seems to have a system: they divide everything in product groups (i.e. dairy, bread, fruits etc) and then different products go to different bags that means if you buy one pack of butter, apples and bread then you usually end up with 3 plastic bags! In this situation the slogans above the cashiers in Lulu a la "save the planet, use less plastic bags" sound especially ironic.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Over the mountains: from Ar Rustaq to Al Hamra

Last winter we went to Wadi Bani Awf but stopped our route there because it felt we had enough of adrenaline for that day. During summer when Andres was in Oman he took the mountain route over the mountains, through Wadi Bani Awf twice. Now it was our turn to get to know the route. Photos talk more than words, so let me show you the photos:

Old house ruins in Bahla