Thursday, February 21: This morning at 8:30, Mario and I begin a road trip to explore Oman’s east coast. We only have a plan to do two things, visit Wadi Dayqah Dam and have the Thursday night sushi buffet at Qurum Resort in Muscat. However, our journey branches off into a myriad of unexpected, and pleasantly surprising, detours. By the time all is said and done, we drive 600 km, explore six different areas, eat sushi accompanied by a bottle of Chianti, and return home at midnight. Whew! What a day!
We start out on the Muscat-Nizwa highway, driving all the way to the bypass road and taking the exit off of that to “Al Amerat, Quriyat, and Sur.” This exit road is full of switchbacks up a steep mountain. At the top, we stop to take some pictures of Muscat down below.
We continue on, not planning to stop again until we reach Wadi Dayqah Dam. However, when I decide I to stop for coffee at a certain petrol station in Al Amerat that is inconveniently lacking a convenience store, this stop slows us down enough to notice some wetlands full of ornamental grasses under a long, relatively new bridge. We both say, almost simultaneously (as everyone does when they see green in Oman): “Look at those grasses!” We pull off at the next exit, park the car, and get out to explore.
We see pretty feather-topped grasses, Indian rollers, the bridge over an algae-filled wetland area, and some interesting plants and wildflowers.
It’s pretty darn hot and humid out in this wetland, and it’s only about 10:30 a.m. I whine to Mario, “Oh no!!! It’s already starting to get hot!” Here it is, only the end of February, and it feels like “winter” is already coming to an end. Of course, Oman doesn’t really have a “winter” as I know it, or as most people in the world know it, but it has been cool enough since late November to actually take walks outside during daylight hours. It feels today like that might soon be coming to an end.
After leaving the wetlands, we make a stop at a “Restaurant,” and grab some omelet sandwiches to take with us to the dam. We don’t know if we will find a place to eat at lunch time, so we prepare ourselves. Then we head down the road quite some distance toward Quriyat.
The trip continues at Wadi Dayqah Dam….