It is official, I left my mortal shell and my astral body travelled the last week through the lands of my wildest dreams. I really cannot remember when I have the last time felt so utterly content with my life. Riding for a week the big loop from Muscat to Nizwa was perfect. This endless sky, barren mountains, perfect camp spots and great food was just wonderful, but it was also just a teaser of what was to come. We needed a shower, wash our clothes and sleep in a soft bed, so we stayed two nights in Nizwa, a picture-perfect town, with a great castle, bustling souks and a stunning old town made of clay houses. Our host Ali was a super friendly, gentle and softly spoken Omani, who gave us great inside into Omani life. When he heard that Max loves Karak tea, he gave us a great lesson of tea making one evening. Thanks Ali, we are having a Karak tea every afternoon now: strong, sweet and cardamom scented.
From Nizwa we went into the real mountains and it was a terrific slog, painfully steep, wild landscape and a very strong headwind, but the views from the top are hard to beat. The way down was even more dramatic, steeper and unpaved. In short, it was Max-terrain. With ecstatic hollers he plunged down the mountain, leaving just a trail of dusk behind… and us, worrying that this is all a bit dangerous (Ellie and me seriously got of the bike a few times, sliding down the road). So, we tell him to enjoy himself, but to be careful… Terrific parenting, appeal to his sanity! That will work with an 11-year-old, who is excited like a hamster on horse-steroids. But we all survived and had soo much fun. We made it a short day, because we were actually somewhat tired and there was this nice camp spot at the entrance of a big canyon, with waterholes to cool down and to wash all the dust away. We met two very nice German families, long time travellers in large trucks, made into camping homes. We felt a little bit envious of there very cool setup, with kitchen and real beds and all that stuff, while we were cramped in our too small tent. However, they seem to be a bit stuck, because many countries have closed borders, because of coronavirus, or you do not want to travel to Iran right now… you might not get out.
Our situation is not so much different (Well we do not have a truck, just three bikes that go into a plane). We had played with the idea to travel via UAE and Saudi Arabia, but that is closed. Do we want to fly to Greece now and might be stuck there? Right now, our best idea is to fly to Istanbul, ride inland and then south and rent a small house in Geyibayiri, which is Turkeys premier climbing destination, and wait what is happening. We can then either travel to Europe, or up to Georgia, Armenia and eastwards. Or we just stay there and get really fit in climbing. If everything goes down the drain we fly back to Australia and adventure there. In any way, right now we are waiting to meet Ellie’s brother Toby tomorrow, for a short holiday off the bikes. We had to do a very big day today, with nasty headwind, so the legs are tired, and I hope you are all well.
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Michelle (Thursday, 12 March 2020 16:42)
Sounds like you’re having an absolutely amazing time! Even better when it’s unexpected. Good luck with working out where to next. Say hello to Toby for us.