9th February 2015
A stop at the checkpoint to enter the Empty Quarter and we saw our first black camels – what better place to try our first taste of camel milk. A surprisingly tasty frothy vanilla milkshake like taste – pass the bananas and strawberries please! Driving through rocky desolate paths through the Rub al Khali (Empty Quarter) we experienced nature’s history of bygone time first hand in the form of the many geodes scattered around the desert floor. Once broken volcanic rock revealed beautiful crystals in its interior; a complex formation of millions of years of nature’s creation in our hands.
Back in the jeeps and we were in for a treat in the form of some fun dune bashing as we weaved our way through dunes that were more like mountains of sand. We arrived before dusk at our last desert camp of our trip – there’s nothing quite like watching the sun go down in the desert, sleeping under a blanket of stars and being surrounded by huge sand dunes to start your New Year resolutions off on the right track!
Sitting on the beach in Salalah at the end of our Oman journey soaking up as much vitamin D as I could carry back home, I was struck by how this country had exceeded any previous expectations I had of it. The varied landscape provides abundant inspiration for everyone who sets eyes upon it, from birdwatchers to geologists, trekkers to historians. Climbing up a sand dune void of any noise or distraction one has a glimpse of the stillness that can exist amongst our often too hectic and demanding lives. It is this peace that a mere few days in the desert can give to a busy mind and a hectic soul. I was fortunate enough to travel with people who also felt this and who were taken aback by the stark contrast this country offers.