Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Eid Holidays -Hatta

This was the second day of Eid and we had scrapped our 5 days camping trip due to kids not feeling well. Instead what we decided was to take day trips and drive back each day after some adventure. In this way we could see how children were doing and could skip a day if they were not feeling better. However kids felt better as each day passed and they enjoyed every day to the max.

Today was the day to go canyoning in Oman. First of all the fourth car in our convoy didnt have the passports so we planned to talk them through to the other side with our negotiations with the check-post authorities.

We started at about 5:30am and before leaving we checked if we loaded everything needed for the day, including the camp chairs, table, life jackets to cross the deep pools, food, etc etc. Everything was in order and then after having a grocery stop at the coop we left for Hatta through which we planned to reach Oman for our starting point for canyoning . The day was very nice, the weather was good and the max it was suppose to reach was about 30 degrees - perfect for a hot country like UAE. Our first stop was a Malbari restaurant to have some breakfast and he really ripped us off with the pathetic food and eid prices. The other two stops were the check-posts through which we all passed without any hassle. We crossed Hatta towards Hatta Pools to cross into Oman when we were stopped at yet another check-post just before the Hatta Pools dirt track starts. We were asked for the Omani visa which we didnt have obviously as we never needed visa for this part of Oman before. On negative answer we were turned back from  the post. Rules change in these countries overnight without any notification, this was really frustrating for us. All the day plan seemed to be going down the drain.
Anyhow we had no choice but to turn around and drive in the mountain's dirt tracks for some time in frustration. We stopped at one point so that the kids can climb for some time and thats when our mood changed to the better side by hiking for an hour. Everyone was in a better mood now and we changed our plan to find some nice farm in the area for the day picnic. After driving for another 30 minutes we were able to find a very good spot little off of the road but very green and peaceful.

We setup our camp there and explored the area that was full of date palm trees, mango trees and some other fruits. There were 7 wells in this farm house and over all it was a very nice place. We got permission from the watchman there to spend the day there which he happily accepted and even agreed to allow us to camp there in future overnight.

We had a nice walk around and then made some nice Doodh Soda to refresh ourselves. Kids played hide n seek in the big farm and the elders had a gossip session ;-) for hours. This was followed by some nice BBQ made on site. The kebabs were really yummy and finished our eating evening with freshly made Halwa on the spot.

It was already dark when we packed up to start our drive back. It was quite crowded on the check-posts as we head back home. We made it safely home at around 10pm to finish this awesome day.

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