Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Day 213 Ras al Khaimah - Khasab

I had thought about hitchhiking to Khasab, but with my luggage plus the parcel with my bike parts, this would have been pretty cumbersome. Furthermore I still feel the Marathon in my legs and feet, so I went for the (much much more expensive) option of an organized tour. In the morning I just had a bit of time to say goodbye to my wonderful hosts Kasia, Darek, Sanaa & Dibba and Kasia drove me to the tour pickup point at the Hilton. There a minibus full of Germans was already waiting. Soon it turned out that my new shirt is a great conversation starter - the whole bus wanted to know about my trip. Once we entered Musandam, the northern exclave of Oman, the landscape became very scenic - mountains to the right, sea to the left. I regretted that I had left Arthur in Muscat - this place looked just perfect for cycling and there seemed to be some nice camp spots at the beach. From the minibus it was kind of hard to see much of the landscape. Once we arrived in Khasab, the main town of Musandam, the dhow cruise started. This cruises seem to be big business here - I was on a dhow with about 50 Germans and there were more than 5 other dhows around. If everyone has paid as much as me for the trip someone is making a lot of money here. Anyway, it was worth it. If you look at Musandam on a map it looks pretty norwegian, with fjords and everything. We first drove into a small fjord to watch dolphins. I wasn't sure if that was really good for the dolphins - everyday having some ships full of shouting tourists around. But they eventually started following the ships. Somewhen later we anchored close to telegraph islands, a very small island notorious for driving its  inhabitants insane - even though the landscape is stunning you really had to enjoy loneliness to like it there. We had the chance to snorkel here and I was among the few passengers who went for it. There were a few very colourful fish around, not superimpressive but a nice refreshment. We kept on cruising through a very long fjord, every now and then stopping for some explanations about the villages around (all only reachable by boat), more bathing stops or more dolphins. Overall a very enjoyable day. Especially Trabant liked it very much 8lE

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