What Omanis do on holidays – ocean beach and Wadi Shab

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That was one of the sunny November days when we decided to visit Omani beach. After all we are at the Indian Ocean for the first time in our lives, especialy Ola. We went to the beach that was supposed to be one of the best in the area. We werent sure if we found the right place as the beach was completely empty. Some stones at the beach but sand right at the water seemed to be perfect conditions to enjoy the ocean. Intimidated by absence of other people we decided to swim anyway.

Omani beachOlaOlaOla

When we saw first people – probably Pakistan family walking along the shore, mom was happy she wore a t-shirt over bikini for swimming. Althought they kept the distance it was good the t-shirt was there as bikinis are not accepted in local culture at all.

But where is everybody? This is a day off, a public holiday, Oman National Day and there is nobody at the beach? As sun was shining straight in our heads, the heat was getting stronger and stronger, we decided to move on. Maybe that’s why there’s noboy here… We got to the car and took a ride through Omani villages. And suddenly we found an answer to our question when we got stuck in the traffic jam in one of the little villages. We found everybody heading to the water among the desert mountains.

OmanWadi Shab, Oman

So that was that famous Wadi Shab. Wadi is a general name for a valley in the desert usually with periodicaly appearing fresh water. Wadis are popular places for growing plants like bananas, mango or palm. It’s a green oasis contrasting with the desert mountains around. Wadi Shab and Wadi Tivi are the most popular wadis in this area.

Wadi Shab has the water all year round and probably that is why this is a favourite place of all locals. It is a picturesque canyon spoiled only at its mouth by collumns of above running highway. But once to pass them you get natural view over the valley. To pass the first deep water we had to use the small motorboat for 2 rials per person round trip. So we put Ola in the woven wrap and got on the boat. Few seconds and we were on the other side and could explore the canyon.Oman

Because of holidays wadi was full of people walking along, sitting on blankets by the water, barbecuing and so on. Families, groups of friends, turists, everybody was there.

Wadi Shab, Oman Wadi Shab, Oman Wadi Shab, OmanWadi Shab, Oman

We took a long walk up the valley, enjoyed a little cooler air and admired local plants. We came accross an example of Omani traditional water distribution system „aflaj”. This system used to allow to irrigate huge cultivation areas using only the gravity. Today right next to it we noticed some hoses so we believe it is not in use any more. At least in this Wadi.

Wadi Shab, OmanWadi Shab, OmanWadi Shab, OmanWadi Shab, OmanWadi Shab, Oman

Ola even swam in one of the ponds with fresh water and of course had to make some new friends there.

Wadi Shab, OmanWadi Shab, OmanWadi Shab, Oman

We got back to the boats before 5 o’clock and this is when we got shocked. As the time was passing more and more people were coming. Boats continuously transported people back to their cars but the number of waiting was still growing. In one moment we felt like at the Kazanski train station in Mocsow wehre transsiberian train departs. Lots of people of different nationalities, of different appearances, clothes, cultures and languages. Omanis, Emiratis, Pakistanis, Europeans, Canadians, Indians and Filipinos.

Wadi Shab, OmanWadi Shab, OmanWadi Shab, Oman
But that was not the people that surprised us. That was their luggage. It’ s undescribable what all those people took with them to spend half the day outdoor. And all that they delivered there by those little boats. That were grills, huge pots (all washed in wadi waters), carpets, portable fridges, baby strollers, baskets, folding chairs and millions of smaller and bigger bags.
Small boats couldn’t keep up transporting people back as the new ones kept coming from wadi. Unaccustomed to local practice we kept finding new and new people in front of us and we had to watch them leaving with all those packages still from the bank!
Wadi Shab, OmanWadi Shab, Oman

After 40 or 50 minutes waiting we had to take matters in our own hands (or elbows) and finally get us on the boat. Together with us came of course many bags, some rugs and a fridge half full of oranges! And their owners, everybody in perfect moods!

Wadi Shab, OmanWadi Shab, OmanWadi Shab, Oman

Those who lost their patience decided to get out of there on their own.

Wadi Shab, OmanWadi Shab, Oman

The picture was completed when we saw on the other boat not only a million packages but also a hellium filled helicopter!


Comments (8)
  1. Marcin - NRWTrip Wednesday September 30th, 2015 at 07:35 PM

    A jak najmłodsza uczestniczka zniosła trud wyprawy? Bardzo fajne miejsce, takie malownicze i bardzo egzotyczna jak dla mnie :)

  2. Kinga Wednesday September 30th, 2015 at 08:05 PM

    Apropo bagażu… 😀 Kiedy rok temu siedziałam na wątpliwej jakości starej łajbie w Albanii i czekałam, aż zapełni się pasażerami i odpłyniemy z przystani na jeziorze Komani, obserwowałam jak nasze zanurzenie stopniowo się zwiększa w miarę dokładania nowych pakunków. W tym dwóch.. motorów. Miałam momentami wrażenie, że lada moment, przy większym przechyle, po prostu pójdziemy na dno.

    • Magdalena Kuźma Wednesday September 30th, 2015 at 09:17 PM

      Chyba jednak miejscowi wiedzą co robią. Ci w Omanie przewieźli już pewnie setki takich transportów pełnych mandarynek w lodówkach, dywanów i Bóg wie czego jeszcze, a ci w Albanii też pewnie już wieźli ze trzy motory!

  3. TuJarek Thursday October 1st, 2015 at 09:36 PM

    Pusta plaża i ocean tylko dla siebie? Fajowo. Chyba długo trzeba by mnie przekonywać żeby się stamtąd zebrać. Spodobał mi się fragment o niecierpliwcach i helikopterze. Ot, tak podsumowuje to trochę całe zamieszanie.

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