Sunday, December 29, 2013

Wadi Shab-- Not to be missed!

My older kids came to spend Christmas with us and stayed for 10 days.  We tried to cram in as much as we could in those 10 days.  The highlight of their trip??  Wadi Shab!

Wadi Shab is right by the village of Tiwi.  It took us about and hour and 45 minutes from Muscat.  From Muscat, go to Amarat, then Quriyat, and on to Tiwi. When you get to the coast, the drive is breathtaking!  You will need to drive through the village of Tiwi to get to Wadi Shab.  You will know you are there when you see the parking lot with the highway bridge over it.  You will park there and take a boat across the wadi to the start of the path.  FYI, there is a nice restroom by this parking lot.

We ate our picnic lunch in the parking lot.  We were hungry and decided it was easier than carrying it.  :)  What are Seth and Savannah holding?  Noodles!  You know, swimming noodles.  Cut in half.  Because Austin needed a target for his arrows.  :/  I made him disassemble his target so we could take them swimming.  Which is why I bought them!

This was our boat guy, and he took us across the wadi for 200 baizas (52 cents) each.  Your 52 cents buys you a round trip.

As with most things I do for the first time in Oman, I didn't really know what to expect.  I had heard of Wadi Shab since I first moved to Oman, but didn't know what it was all about. Here is the deal:  you park your car, boat across the wadi, hike for a good hour (it took us longer because I take lots of pictures), come to some pools, swim a ways, and end up in an amazing secret cave.  Then you must hike back.  For an hour.

Two things that surprised me:
#1.  Wadi Shab is much more beautiful than I thought it was going to be.
#2.  The hike was more challenging than I thought it would be.  Not that I couldn't handle it, but just saying. Here, you hiked toward a general direction.  No clear path, and sometimes you were simply going from one big boulder to another!  That is where being six feet tall would have come in handy.  Luckily I was hiking with four such men.

Seth exploring his inner monkey.

We came here on a Saturday.  I had read about large crowds. There were not that many people.  I guess we lucked out.

There were lots of natural caves and overhangs along the way.

And several clear green pools of water.

It was very windy that day, so I was glad to be wearing my glasses instead of contacts. Actually, we were supposed to go boating that day, but the trip was cancelled due to rough seas and high winds.  Wadi Shab was our alternate choice.  So glad we came.

Our 'path' up ahead.

We got to these pools, not sure if this was the end of the hike or not.  We had seen pools earlier.  Well, when you can hike no further, you are at the right pools.  My gang decided to just jump in.  The temperature was in the 70's, and so the water was chilly.  Jared went first.

Then Austin.

And Savannah.

I did not swim.  I was fighting a bad cold.  I sat by the water and watched everyone's clothes and electronics. You would be fine leaving your dry clothes by the water.  No one should bother them.  I have friends who bring ziplock bags for their electronics, to take with them.

My guys swimming up to the next pools. 

Here they are, walking back.  There are rocks between the pools and you really want to wear some sort of shoe.  Preferably not the same ones you have to hike back in.

Relaxing in the water before hiking back.  Note: several people changed into dry clothes before hiking back.  They just held up towels and changed.  I did get a glimpse of bare bottom, but I turned my head, after a second or two.  Just kidding.  :) 

My gang really enjoyed the final secret cave and pool.  That is what the noodles were for.  There is no place to hold on to and rest. So you are treading water the whole time.  The noodles let you float and enjoy the beauty.

I am posting a link to my friend Andy's video of the cave.  It is amazing and well worth a look.  By the way, I started reading Andy's blog even before I moved to Oman.  The name of his blog? Andy in Oman. Check it out for just about anything you want to know about Oman!

More posts on my family's visit coming soon!

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