Planning one’s honeymoon is always an exciting endeavour.. Especially when you are planning to get away the day after your wedding.. For us, it was a challenge which surely paid off in the end. We wanted to go somewhere different, away from the usual beach holiday. Oman is not your obvious choice for a honeymoon destination, but surely this country deserves a visit from all of us once in our lifetime..
With the wedding night party finished and the traditional hangover behind us, bags all packed, we headed to the airport for our flight to Oman, trully not knowing too much about what we were going to encounter once there. From Athens, we had thought that the best way to explore this huge country (mainly covered by deserts… distances are huge…) would be to get a local tour guide to take us around in our own 4×4.. And that’s exactly what we did.
After having exchanged a few emails with Naseeb, the deal was to meet up in our Muscat hotel lobby the day after we had arrived there… All went according to plan and we embarked on our 6-day adventure of Oman with Naseeb.
A piece of advice, when you are planning such a trip, local knowledge is essential.. we would have never seen what we did without him to guide us. And quite often help us get our 4×4′s wheels unstuck from the sand.. At one point I thought we would never get out alive from the desert..
Our 1st day started in Muscat. First stop was a swim in Wadi Bani Awf. A wadi is a river running through a valley. The water is worm, bit misty.. and scary I might add especially when your guide is telling you that eels swim here.. Don’t know about you but I am not sure if eels are harmless.. they just sound like swimming snakes to me..
All went well… not sign of eels. After our swim, we headed up to Jebel Shams, the mountain of the Sun. Beautiful views of the whole valley awaited us for the end of our 1st day, and a very bumpy ride…
The morning after, we headed to one of the most unexpectedly great experiences of the whole trip. Naseeb took us to visit a family of mountain bedouins to have lunch with them and go on a hike in the neighbouring mountains. The family welcomes us in their home, sign language was necessary here in order to communicate..
The father of the family was a guy in his 70′s with 4-5 wives and more than 12 children. He told us that the secret to his happiness & big family was the cooked goat that he had served us.. (eat up Yannis..) and the clean air of the mountains..
Our second night was spent in Nizwa, where we took part in the Ed celebrations in the town square. Full of people, everyone joining in the big city-wide festivities. We had to try this local delicacy of butter corn of course..
Day 3 was what I ‘d been waiting for. Driving into the Wahiba Sands desert. I ‘d been told by friends that you never forget the first time you visit the desert. And it is true.. its vastness, colours, it is an undescribable experience. All well, any sense of orientation is lost of course.. Everything looks the same, so having our guide with us was a blessing to say the least..
Arriving in the afternoon at our desert traditional camp just in time for sunset and a can of frozen beer was priceless… So many moments come to mind, cart wheeling in the sand, sand boarding on the dunes (sounds better than it was after all..), showering in an open-air shower under the stars just to name a few..
We spent day 4 driving in the desert which was getting bumpy at times and finally camping ‘al fresco’ with our own fire and sleeping bags on the sand.
We have to be honest here.. we were quite terrified since creepy – crawlies in the desert during the night are not uncommon.. so the prospect of waking up hugging a scorpion or a puma was not very exciting.. None of this thankfully happened and our breakfast in the cool desert breeze was amazing.
Day 5 included a visit & overnight stay at a Turtle Beach resort where we experienced an amazing trip. Over here, we visited one of the few nesting places of the giant green sea turtle and at night we had a guided tour at Ras al-Jinz where we saw these majestic creatures come ashore and lay their eggs by the light of the stars. This you have to try..
On our final day, one more surprise was waiting for us.. We visited Wadi Shab, which is considered one of the most beautiful wadis in Oman.
After walking and swimming in the Wadi we drove to the spectacular Bama Sink Hole. The water was crystal clear and the setting outstanding. A complementary fish natural foot spa at the sink hole was an added bonus..
And that was it.. back to Muscat for a night out in the town and all necessary rest.. Our honeymoon had one more week to go…