Thursday, March 21: This morning, I call Mario at 7 a.m. “Are you up?” Of course, I know he is up. We share the annoying problem of waking up in the wee morning hours, no matter how late we have stayed up the night before.
All day yesterday, we kept going around in circles trying to figure out a place we could go for a walk this weekend. I personally am sick of the same old places, and I didn’t want to do something I have done 4-5 times already. Neither did we want to drive a long distance. This morning, when I get him on the phone, he says, “What about the upper path from Misfat Al Abriyyin? We haven’t done that yet.”
We actually had this on our list of things to do before I leave Oman, but we had considered staying overnight at the B&B in Misfat and then getting a dawn start. However, there is really no need to spend the night, as we live only 45 minutes away. We agree to go and head off to Misfat.
Instead of heading down into the gardens and banana plantations of Misfat, which is where I always go, we head uphill on a steep village street and then down some steps toward a large falaj that leads out of the village and into a gorge.
We merge into the W9 trail which heads, after crossing a wadi, to the top of the Western Hajar Mountains. It eventually meets up with the W8, which goes to Balad Sayt, and the W10, which goes to Sharaf Al Alamayn. These two trails apparently give magnificent views of Wadi Bani Awf (a treacherous drive through wadi bani awf: a near-tragedy, the picturesque village of balad sayt & a glimpse of the infamous snake canyon).
Date palms and banana trees shade us until we get out of the village, where we find ourselves at the edge of a canyon open to the sun. At least there is a lovely breeze this morning.
We encounter goats everywhere. We also see lots of big lizards today, but most of them are too fast to capture by camera. After walking on a good trail interspersed with stone steps along the edge of the canyon, the path descends into the wadi and then up the other side, where it eventually meets up with the W8 and the W10 paths.
We have no plan to go that far today. We just want a short walk, so we stop at a shady spot in the wadi after about an hour. A small slick-looking lizard and some wandering goats join us as we take a break.
We get a kick out of some silly goats that are climbing trees and eating flowers off the uppermost branches.
Finally, we backtrack to Misfat al Abriyyin, where we meet on the trail some normal-looking ex-pats who work at a college in Muscat. We are both surprised to find these unusual specimens in this part of our world.
On our way back along the falaj, Mario spots a male frog squeezing the eggs out of his female counterpart in the water of the falaj.
We end up having a lunch topped off with fresh banana juice and orange juice at a little “restaurant and coffee shop” in Al Hamra. We are done a little after noon and on our way back to Nizwa. 🙂
Click here to see my other posts on the lower half of Misfat Al Abriyyin.