Saturday, June 16: After visiting Khasab Fort, we begin our long drive back to Nizwa, making a stop about 25km south of Khasab in the modest little town of Bukha.
We first drive up to a little hilltop where we find the ruins of Al Qala’s Fort, which overlooks the town. There isn’t much here except the ruins of an old watchtower and a great view of the bay.
After probing around in the ruins and admiring the view of the date palm plantations in one direction and the Arabian Gulf on the other, we drive down to the old Bukha Fort, which sits right along the coastal highway. When the fort was built in the 16th century, it stood right on the shore, but now the water has receded. The fort is surrounded on three sides by a dry moat where, according to legend, prisoners were once chained to drown in the rising tide.
Boxy rectangular towers sit on opposite corners of the fort. The southeastern tower is circular and curved inward at the top to reduce the impact of cannonballs.
Behind the fort sits the town’s old mosque that is unusual in that it looks more like a house than a place of worship and lacks both a dome and minaret.
After we pass through Bukha, we head on our merry way home, across the UAE border, through UAE, and back to Oman, after a very convoluted route!