One of the slight quirks of life in Oman is that you never quite know when public holidays will occur. They’re only announced a few days in advance.
Thus it was only last Wednesday – with the announcement of four days off work for Eid al Adha – that Laura and I could properly commit to a small expedition this week in the Dhofar Mountains at the south of the country.
We set off on the 1200km journey along the edge of Empty Quarter on Saturday night and have about seven days for our trip. Unless they announce some more holiday for the Sultan’s 40th anniversary.
The RGS Expedition Report Database has no entries for expeditions to Dhofar and the only mentions on Google are a research trip in the 1960s and a leopard survey. The otherwise excellent book ‘Adventure Trekking in Oman’ also has no reference to any routes more than 100km south of Muscat.
This could be because it’s really boring down there and there’s nothing to see. But the other descriptions we’ve read lead us to believe otherwise and, regardless, it will all be new to us.
We’re heading towards the Yemen border at the southernmost point of the country. A few people have recommended the area – including Mark Evans and my friends at BSES – but beyond that, we’ve not had much time to research where exactly to go or whether our trusty Mazda will provide sufficient traction to get us there. We’ve stocked up on water and have plenty of dried dates though so I’m sure we’ll manage something.