Wondering what the next adventure would be, I put myself into the care of dear dear friends (whose value to me is far greater than the riches that created the land they now call home) and waited to see where that led.
Citadels, landscapes, buildings, roads, birds, people beyond expectation and that was only day one 🙂
Early today we breakfasted, loaded our picnic, passports, bathers (swimming costumes). smiles, sense of adventure and headed to Oman – Sohar to be exact.
An hour’s easy drive from Al Ain. A very defined custom’s border post; no photography, stand in line, and the excitement of a stamp in my passport, Oman 🙂 (No EU freedom of movement here.) And finally now Sultans rule, not Sheikhs (I learn something new every hour here) and immediately the landscape has changed.
Mountains, now. More rugged, more austere, more “rubbish”as my father and his mountaineer friends used to refer to this kind of rock ; not the sort of stone that draws climbers into its orbit, but rather hastens them in the opposite direction.
Life here must have been unbearably tough, and in many areas, I am sure still. Reading, as I am, Rags to Riches, the story of Dubai/Abi Dubai one can only marvel at the speed with which this change has occurred.
A special stop at Sohar for a picnic tea and biscuits, lovingly offered by Mick,; saw a middle aged man beautifully clad in white quietly ‘join’ us.
He sat on a bench right behind us, close enough in an empty vastness to be ‘part of our space’ and since there was a vast area with seating to chose from, I am guessing his solitude was beginning to weary him.
And he sat,
hands on knees,
looking ahead and studiously avoiding any visual contact with us.
It was a Saturday, a holy day and the streets were still deserted.
We spoke no arabic.
He spoke no English
He declined our offer of tea.
He declined our offer of biscuits.
As we packed up to leave,
we offered him some fruit,
he took an apple and banana
We left as he sat,
alone in the picnic ground,
beautifully clad in white on a holy day.