Sunday, May 13, 2012

Musandam Camping - April 2012

Welcome to Khasab, Oman
A few weekends ago we (I acually) decided to go camping. The kids and I had bought Chris a tent for Valentine's Day so we would have no excuse not to go. I was wanting to go to Musdandam, Oman before it got too hot, so when a friend said they were wanting to go also, we decided right then on the date and started making plans. Being amateur campers, our plans took shape a few hours before we left. Some things, such as charging the latern battery, never actually got taken care of! Thankfully, our friends, who were doing their shopping when we were supposed to be already on the road, bought an extra lamp. Ronwyn and Yvette and Andre decided to join our adventure. Chris had to work late (or did he really not want to go?) so we were to meet him along the way. We headed out of Dubai on a Thursday late afternoon in a sandstorm (see, we planned really well!). Thursday is like the rest of the world's Friday - busiest time of the week. We only made a few wrong turns since the signs weren't very visible - we were in a sandstorm, and the exit signs are posted at or after the exits here! Chris called - he is finally out of traffic but I have his passport so we have to wait for him at the UAE/Oman border. We wait outside the razor-wired border on the side of the road in the Middle East. Andre brought out the Duncan Donuts he had brought for breakfast, I found some Cokes and grapes.
Andre and the rest of his donuts
The locals are trying to ignore us but are happy to sell us some firewood at a huge profit. Chris arrives and we make it across the border. We have to stop twice, pay money, fill out forms, show proof of insurance, but they have a women's restroom so all is okay (as long as you remembered to bring your own toilet paper!). Our destination is Khasab, Musandam in Oman - camp on the beach - no one has been here before - it is dark, etc. We drive to Khasab - find the beach I "read about in a travel book" - it is like pavement. Turn around, drive back to where someone "saw" another tent on a beach. It takes a while, but we finally found a nice, sandy beach with a public toilet (Persian style). We pitch the 3bedroom+living room tent for the first time at around 1am, eat ham sandwiches and go to bed. Andre had lent his tent to Ronwyn and Yvette, so he gets our living room.
Late night ham sandwiches on the beach

The tide is still coming in and Yvette is sure it will get them, so they get up and move their tent! I never knew the waves could be so loud! I think I finally went to sleep, only to be woke up by excited children ready to play and eat more donuts. Someone (everyone actually) forgot to bring coffee.

Jolee with her black eye
Katelin on the beach
Julia enjoying the sand
Jolee the ballet dancer
Beach fun
We played and swam all morning, BBQ'd hamburgers and hot dogs for lunch, played Bananagrams all afternoon, walked on the beach, applied sunscreen often, had a wonderful, relaxing sandy day. Andre headed home for work.

Lunch!

Naptime for Julia

Matthew playing on the beach
 Julia doing some yoga

 Yvette and the little girls

Timothy thinkin' up some Bananagram words
Chris winning, again!
Macey lovin' on her daddy
Matthew contemplating his next move

Ronwyn is quite the pyro, and we had a wonderful dinner of shish kababs, corn on the cob, roasted potatoes, sauted onions and roasted marshmellows for dessert.

 Men at work
Dinner cooked by torchlight (flashlight)

Campfire
Rolling in the sand in the dark
Katelin roasting marshmellows
Macey enjoying the gooey marshmellow
Jolee couldn't be woke up for marshmellows, even when the wind knocked her chair over!
Timothy and Matthew
Yvette set up the tripod, opened the shutter of the DSLR camera and gave the kids a lantern to play with. She got some awesome shots, and we all had fun watching the kids and seeing the results in picture form. We all remarked on how nice a cool it is tonight compared to the first night. We hit the sack early because the plans are to go out on a dhow boat to see the fjords tomorrow, hopefully snorkel and see some fish.

Shutter moves by Matthew!
Ronwyn's star

Matthew shoveling

We slept a little better, until about 4am when the wind picked up and our tent, with several 12inch sand screws holding it down, blew over! Chris got up to fix it, laid back down, got up to fix it again, found his keys and wallet blown outside the tent, my bathing suit was across the beach. Thank goodness I brought in all the drying clothes before going to bed. I was getting a little scared - if I got up, the tent would blow in on the kids. About 6am we decided to pack it up. Somehow we got the tents taken down, the food, clothes, camping gear, etc put into the cars before it started to rain. Granted, it wasn't much rain, but you never know which direction it's going to go. We drove to Khasab in the daylight so we could at least see the town. It looks like every other Middle East town we've seen - lots of small closed restaurants, tiny shops selling aluminum pots and everything else, goats everywhere, no women in sight, men in long white dish dashes, locals in small cars driving really slow but moving to the middle of the road so you can't pass them. It really was a beautiful place in its own way. The mountains are stark - rocky with no plants/animals. The sea was a bright blue, and everything else was sand color. The port where I had read we could get a dhow was heavily guarded by soldiers and a fence of razor wire (they have a lot of illegal activity with Iran - pirates smuggling cigarettes. I found out later that this is not the right port!). The sea was rough and the sky was dark, and we could find nothing to eat, so we dug out some leftovers from the coolers and headed home. Once we got past the border we found a McDonalds among the Arabic restaurants. We had hamburgers for breakfast - that's all they served all day long. I was disappointed that we didn't go snorkeling, but we did have an awesome time together on the beach! We camped, we made memories, we got home early, took a shower, and went out to dinner!
Matthew enjoying the sea

18 comments:

  1. Wow, a very memorable first-time camping trip! Glad you enjoyed it despite all the unexpected elements involved... and got some great pictures to share :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Musandam tour is very enjoyable because there is a vast range of things to enjoy. The natural sceneries of Musandam Dibba are very beautiful and have no match in the whole world.Musandam Dibba

    ReplyDelete
  3. Musandam Dibba perfect place for the tourists, this is beautiful place in Dubai.

    ReplyDelete
  4. it is very fine blog i really like this post and plz write some thing desert safari dubai and also dhow cruise dubai

    ReplyDelete
  5. thanks for the sharing and it is nice share lovely i need to know about desert safari dubai and where i find information about dhow cruise dubai

    ReplyDelete
  6. share some topic about desert safari dubai and dubai dhow cruise i need some information for writing my blog

    ReplyDelete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Musandam Dibba is really a fun place i love this beautiful place.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great man. You Shared great content and pictures i have seen till now.
    Musandam Dibba is a great place to visit with family and friends

    ReplyDelete
  10. Musandam Dibba is very beautiful place for tour i like it very much

    ReplyDelete
  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Musandam Dibba is such a lovely place with lot of natural beauty.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Jennifer -
    Lovely pictures. I'm going camping in Musandam next week and was wondering if you could tell me where this beach was?
    Many thanks
    Cat.

    ReplyDelete
  14. If you have your own camping equipment, we can transfer you to sandy beach inside Musandam fjords via Speedboat or we can arrange camping for you in Khasab Musandam. Anyone interested visit our website http://khasabmusandamtours.com or Call for booking @ +968 - 93350703

    ReplyDelete
  15. Dubai is one of the best place for visit. Khasab is near to Dubai & offers the perfect starting point to explore the unknown Musandam. Khasab is one of the best place in Oman for Camping. Enjoy Khasab beach camping under starry sky with your loved ones. http://www.kstoman.com/tours/beach-camping/

    ReplyDelete