|Said, our guide/driver into the camp, took us up the dunes before going into the camp. The place is called "Thousand Nights."|
This was just before sundown. The dunes here were "only" about 50 meters high. Further out towards the coast, they can get to 150 meters! Benita had gone on a desert crossing to the coast. No, not on camels, but in 4x4's --- what fun!
|Benita, heading out to parts unknown. :-)|
|The desert is sooooo beautiful! Prepare for an onslaught of sand n' sky...|
|... and Benita at the top o' the dune! The sand is very soft and takes a bit of effort to walk in, especially up hill. People were using snowboards and little plastic sleds to go down the dunes --- in slow motion. Haha!|
|This was in the morning.|
|Benita, in our tent. We had one of the smaller tents. In each group, there's a little structure with open-to-the-sky biffie, basin and shower. Yes, I had to try it, so I had a shower. The water was a bit chilly 'cause the sun was going down. Hilarious! That was a fast n' furious shower! Warmer than Janice, though. :-)|
|Evening. The light is so gorgeous!|
|Morning, above the camp. The trees in the "valley" are a type of accacia, I think. The Arabic word for them is sumar. These tree are about 200 years old. In the early hours of the morning, condensation forms and the grasses collect water. It was quite damp in the tents, too!|
|Another morning scene. I kept going to another dune top, thinking I'd get to see "the other side" and decided I could end up at the sea, so I went back.|
|We walked to the left of the water tank and up the slightly darkened non-trail to the top of the dune. Turns out there was a trail to the right of the tank, but it really wouldn't have made any difference in the footing. It was all soft sand.|
The water tank is at the right, with our tracks going up/down the hill.
|Not sure what the grasses were, although they looked sedge-like in both flowers and shape of the blades.|
|Same grasses, I think.|
|Looking almost due south. This is a long "valley" which eventually leads to the sea, more or less. The local people know which way the dunes move and how to navigate them.|
|Same location/view as above shot.|
|This is the back-40 of the camp. Our digs are second from the right, in this closest group.|
|Camp, from above. The large building to the left is where food was prepped and served, and also where the outdoor pool was.|
|Benita, stormin' up the hill. It was quite steep. Did I mention the sand was soft and made it a slog, going up?|
|These buildings reminded me of something out of one of the Star Wars movies. :-) They're new additions and are more modern inside.|
|Looking south, not long before I gave up trying to get "to the top."|
|The colour of the sand fascinated me! The fresher stuff, unexposed to the elements, was a richer red colour. In the morning, the sand felt quite cold to the feet, but just a couple hours later, it had really warmed up!|
|I thought I'd slide down the dune. Haha. Even though it got steeper than this, there was no sliding to be done.|
|Some tiny sandilands creature left its tracks behind. There were other odd tracks that looked like tractor tires. Perhaps scorpions?|
This was where we chose to sit and eat, in the traditional-style area. In another area, there were tables, chairs, etc., also with colourful cushions.
After dinner, local singers/dancers came and sang/danced Omani traditional music. It was so cool! At the Muscat Festival, we saw another local group which had bagpipes, too.
|These two camels were young and oh, so dear!|
|This guy waved at someone else, just as the shutter went off. The people in the background were from the city. Often city dwellers will take their 4x4, tents and family and just go camp in the desert. We saw a few such groups off in the distance when we left the camp.|
|This little one was a delight. I creeped up and it turned and looked at me, then stretched its neck out. I held out my hand and it was like a horse's muzzle, so soft! We had a li'l camel-kisses going on and then someone came to get it.|
|This was a half-sized door which captured my imagination. Likely for access to a storage area under the main building.The old doors are carved and ornate.|
|This shot is inside the "lobby" building, looking toward the eating area. Note the skiis and snowboards propped on the building. :-)|
|A bit of water peeked up in a river bed, so we stopped to look at it. The dry riverbed is called a wadi, which, when it rains in the mountains, becomes a raging torrent. This one was naturally occuring water.|
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