Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday, March 15, 2013

Jebel Akhdar

Posted by Hippo Bean at 10:15 PM
The hotel restaurant was filled with incense smoke. All the fans were blowing. It was hard to see anything. But the scent of frankincense was heavenly. The buffet breakfast was laid out and not a soul in sight. So I helped myself with what my palate desired. I poured my coffee and took my breakfast to eat it in the pool area. It was 7AM and normally the hotel wouldnt start breakfast until 7:30.

From a vantage point, we again admired the old Al Hamra village from afar. Rugged mountain on the background, a field of palm trees in front. There's a mountains range in the distance that had 2 pointed peaks, one on each end of the range. We dubbed it the 'hippo' mountain, as it resembled the upright pointed ears of a hippopotamus. A watchtower stood next to us, and L and I, the curious ones, went in and climbed it. However, the walls on the top had very tiny round holes to peek through, so we didnt have much view from there. Then we went down to the valley and walked through the palm trees canopy that we saw up there on the vantage point, to get to Al Hamra.

Another wonder of the trip was the walk through the dilapidated village of Al Hamra. Abandoned and rundown mud houses lined the narrow sandy streets. We meandered through the ghost village, wondering what life was like when the houses were inhabited, with clothe lines filled with hanging wet garments, children running and playing on these narrow alleys, women wrapped in their traditional colorful Omani dresses, gossiping, and men going about their daily tasks. It was another photographer's paradise. Then we drove to Misfah, the oldest of these villages. Mud houses still occupied, papaya trees and sheep wandering. The rest of the day we drove through the Jebel Akhdar, the green mountains, and the rock formations and colors were spectacular. The Wadi Bani Awf, the end point of the canyon is a snake gorge in the middle of the steep mountain cliffs. We've made a stop at Nakhl to photograph the beautifully restored castle before heading back to the capital.

See Jebel Akhdar and Al Hamra photos



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