Sunday, June 24:  Jakesprinter’s Sunday Post challenge this week is village.  He writes: A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet with the population ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand (sometimes tens of thousands).  Although many patterns of village life have existed, the typical village was small, consisting of perhaps 5 to 30 families. Homes were situated together for sociability and defence, and land surrounding the living quarters was farmed. Traditional fishing villages were based on artisan fishing and located adjacent to fishing grounds.

I have a number of favorite villages in Oman, but my absolute favorite is the beautiful village of Balad Sayt in the middle of the Hajar Mountains in Wadi Bani Awf. It’s not an easy place to get to.  You have to drive through perilous unpaved mountain roads on steep grades and hairpin turns.  I almost killed myself and my sons the first time I drove here and just two weekends ago, my students told me one young university student, a girl named Aisha, and her brother died when their car went over a cliff.  Very sad, but not surprising.  It’s a dangerous road.

What makes the drive worth the danger is this little village.  There isn’t much here but some houses, a mosque, probably a store, though I’ve never seen one, and a lot of plantations. The idyllic setting is in the midst of a bowl carved out of the steep Hajar Mountains.  It’s peaceful & picturesque.

Here is the village of Balad Sayt.

the picturesque village of Balad Sayt

another view of the lovely Balad Sayt, back in January when I visited with my sons