Oman Travel Junkie Diary of

Toufic Abou Nader

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Toufic Abou NaderLike0

Toufic Abou Nader, an adventurer and explorer. A beautiful person inside out and we are so happy to have him part of Travel Junkie Diary sharing with us his wonderful experience in Oman and why everyone should visit!

Here is his diary

Destination Oman

Having lived most of my life around nature exploring the unknown and hidden secrets of mountains, valleys, caves… the satisfaction I get grew my curiosity to explore more and know more about this stunning world. I spend my free time on different types of adventures exploring places I have never been to or in fact no other human being ever stepped foot into.

Stayed in

As an explorer I rarely stay at hotels, however the only 3 hotels I ever checked in Oman were Majan Guest House, Safari Hotel (both in Bahla city) and Haffa House in Salalah. When it comes to hotels, the deal is most of the times “you get what you pay”. Prices:
2 bedroom apartment in Majan was for 1000AED. 1 room with 2 beds in Safari was for AED 150. 1 room with 2 beds in Haffa was for AED 250.

The 3 hotels are of old structures and need maintenance in terms of beautifying and revamping. However the structures seemed to be safe. The interiors of the hotels are Middle Eastern looking with the Arab touch Rooms’ conditions: there is nothing bad to report definitely no hygienic issues nor safety related matters. Don’t expect to sleep on a comfortable mattress nor have a romantic bath.

Dining: They offer the same cuisines, bit of Indian/Pakistani food along with Arabic (GCC) cuisine. Breakfast included chicken sausages, boiled eggs, red kidney beans, bit of vegies and fruits, tea, milk and bottled juices.
Hotel facilities and activities: There are no available facilities in Majan nor in Safari. Both had swimming pools but were under maintenance. On the other hand, Haffa had many facilities and entertainments such as TV in the room, swimming pool, gym, pool tables and table tennis tables.
They all have contacts with activity and adventure Tour companies. So if you don’t know what to do around, they can hook you up with a Tour.
In a nutshell, they provide a roof and food on the table to live for another day of adventure with a nice and lovely staff.

Month  February

In your suitcase As an explorer and adventurer, my car is always loaded with gear and essentials and I keep my back pack always ready for the action that includes:  Small Binoculars , Water, Shock proof camera (GoPro), Satellite phone , Backup charger, Hiking shoes , Water , Isotonic water for dehydration (Isostar, pokari sweat…), Wet wipes, Basic 1st aid kit, Basic survival kit (firestarter, paracord bracelet, whistle, compass, 2 candles, dried food, a small knife and an emergency blanket) – you can buy a ready-made kit or customize your own the way I do. Windproof lighter, Energy bars, Multipurpose knife, Headlight with backup batteries, 20m climbing rope and couple of climbing slings and carbines that I use for cliff drops.

Diary

Oman is a beautiful place that offers touristic experiences (spas, old forts, natural landscapes, adventures…) and a place to explore and discover Mother Nature. I spend my time exploring and discovering new areas and meeting new locals. Exploring includes hiking, trekking, climbing, caving, cannyoning and camping all over Oman, from the eastern side to the western, north to south. I meet many locals during the time I spend in Oman and couldn’t but notice their humble and respect traits. They are very welcoming and generous, expect they invite you for a meal, offer you their best dates and pomegranate then invite you for a homemade Arabic coffee. The lovely villagers of Nadan in Jabel Al Kawr offering me all what they got from dates, pomegranate, water and Arabic coffee.

Major areas I have visited are

  • Khasab
  • Dibba
  • Ibri
  • Nizwa
  • Bahla
  • Hamra
  • Muscat
  • Quriyat
  • Sur
  • Salalah

Shopped at Oman is known to its Arabic oriental lifestyle, shopping streets and malls are not what I would try to find. Though you can head to the Friday animal auction market in Bahla, enjoy the old Souqs and shop yourself some Arabian style home gadgets and souvenirs.

Dined In  when it comes to food, you better like heavy meals with loads of rice that fills your hunger for a week. As most of the restaurants in Oman serve the same food, Beryani, Mandi and Mansef, the meals are very similar, meat (lamb, chicken or beef) and rice with different sauce. Same restaurant will serve Shawarma, Tikka meat and other fast food. But if you want to dine having multinational cuisine, head to well-known hotels and spas. This is your only option.

Tips  The way I see it:

Weather:

From sweating, dehydration and skin burns (temperature reaches above 51 degrees Celsius) in the summer to freezing cold (temperature reaches below 0) in winter time. Oman is known to its random sand storms and unexpected heavy rain that creates dangerous floods and streams with unsafe roads to drive on especially in the mountains where roads might collapse and falling boulders can knock down houses.

Culture:
A dominating Arabic and Islamic culture based on honor, honesty, respect and generosity. Many are highly educated however they preserve their national traditions in all aspects, from how they live, eat, dress and behave. Wearing revealing clothing is not a problem, however it is not very respectful to their culture, a t-shirt and shorts are fine.

Things to do:
Don’t be mistaken to its geographic location and consider it a dry desert. Oman is full of water. Wadis full of water streams, natural waterfalls and beautiful canyons. In a picture you will find the water is so blue due the high level of PH.

Many activities can be done:
1) Canyoning

2) The very famous Snake Canyon in Wadi Bani Awuf

3) Camping

4) Hiking

5)  Dhow Cruise

6) Diving

7) Sight Seeing

8) Kayaking

9) Caving

10) Climbing

11) Wild life

12) Marine Life such as dolphins, sharks, sea turtles. ( It has the largest sea turtle farm reserve)

13) Animals from wild cats, donkeys, goats, foxes

Mode of Travel  Driving from Dubai

4992_10152398446445161_1836023712_n 920377_10153041707950161_1448532877_o 1185386_10153641252285161_399517459_n 1533944_10153641254895161_1013370968_n IMG_1866 IMG_6730 IMG_8265 IMG_8383 P1130998 (Medium) IMG_2905 (Medium) 620854_10153223478865161_1719464706_o IMG-20121203-00148 2012-06-09_16-35-15 blowhole kayak-fishingIMG_6736 IMG-20130601-01366 IMG-20140214-00093

Travel Junkie Diary

A bohemian traveler

One comment

  1. Abir says:

    Amazing article

Leave a Reply

Follow @ traveljunkiediary
  • Soooo... Weekends in Dubai has resulted at the beach since summer has kicked in!! Here is one of my favorite barefoot lunch spots ❤️ Have you been here?
  • Maldives, you are my favorite distraction 🐠
  • I found a little Tuscany in Dubai!! On small roads in the countryside in Val d’Orcia, sunflowers bloom in summer and it gives you a sense of happiness. On my hunt for inspiration of Italy in the UAE, I found a little bit of Tuscany and happiness in Dubai🌻 
Follow @theitalianwayuae for more inspiration #TheItalianWay
  • Back in the desert 🐫 and I think summer just kicked in 🤷🏼‍♀️
  • I woke up right here on my back way from Voss to Oslo. 350 metres above Oslo city and right in Nordmarka forest🌳
  • I could be staring at the same mountains that loomed over passing Vikings and I’m in love... Wouldn’t you be?
  • From Oslo, I took the NSB train to Myrdal which is a 5 hour journey, then boarded the Flåm Railway, named by @natgeotravel one of the most beautiful train journey in Europe taking you through west Norway’s most beautiful scenery. Here we stopped for 10 minutes to step out of the railway for pictures. Can you see Chloè by the window too? ☺️
  • The sun doesn’t rise till around 9am, so it gave me a lot of time to sleep in. Flåm is a small village in southwestern Norway, in an area known for its fjords. It sits at the end of Aurlandsfjord. It’s peaceful, its historical, it’s quiet and it’s not a place you will find all over social media. I found these little red cabins while walking around the small village trying not to slip on the ice that covers the road! I did though, I slipped, laughed got bruised and luckily my camera didn’t fall into the water... but it was so close!
  • I’ve found Kattegat ♥️
  • I was always in a hurry to be someone, always in a hurry to become something and do everything. I didn’t waste my time on things or people that would get me nowhere. I crave a slow life, a simple life filled with adventures. No fast cars or expensive homes and for almost all my life, I’ve built a life in which I never needed to escape from. This is my beautiful reality and this photo represents that to me.
  • I was thinking of a caption that can relate to what I was thinking... but the truth is, simple... I was thinking of absolutely nothing at all... just the fact that I was waking up in the middle of a frozen sea. ♥️
  • Gelato for breakfast and it’s melting!! An obvious one ofcourse 😊 That was my next hunt for ‘inspiration in finding a little bit of Italy in the UAE’  project with @theitalianwayuae How many times a day would you have Gelato in Italy? For me, it was around 4-5!! #TheItalianWay