I have to admit that when we touched down in Muscat, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Oman is Steffen’s “dream travel country” and contains the “some of the best riding ever”. I’d been lazy and enjoyed the last weeks in Thailand whilst Steffen planned the “perfect route” for us.
Our first impressions of Oman have all been positive: friendly people, super clean and no humidity. Muscat was fun, we went to the old town and visited a Souq, ate some delicious Turkish food (grilled meats, falafel, tabouli, hummus, flatbreads and lots of spices), drank the local tea (called Karak which is like a chai tea with ginger and sweetened condensed milk), marvelled at the incredible clear seawater and pillaged some of the stores for provisions.
We hit the road towards the town of Sur along the coastal route and then took a turn inland. A few things really stood out: the scenery is really quite out of this world…huge rugged mountains, rocky/sandy plains…we discussed whether it looked more like a movie set, a space scape or a destroyed mining area (maybe like Queenstown), the feeling of remoteness and insignificance within such a huge landscape – it’s beautiful and overwhelming at the same time; the road network (major roads are sometimes three lane highways that are permanently lit up at night – dare I say it, over-engineered for the amount of traffic, but even the smaller roads are good to ride on), the clusters of white buildings dotted across the landscape.
So far, we’re having an absolute ball, we’ve been able to camp everywhere (on the ocean, within a grove of old trees, on a rocky plains), we regularly get friendly beeps from cars (or even asked for a photo, superstars!), offered food, lovely wide road verges, cool camels and super hairy goats doing their thing, all with constant spectacular views. And…a traditional breakfast is lentils, flatbread and karak (heaven!!) If this keeps up, Steffen’s superlatives might just be right!