When you live in the desert, green is one of the things you miss the most. So we have been very much looking forward to our short break in Salalah, in the southernmost part of Oman. This time of year, tropical monsoons, known locally as Khareef bring heavy rains, coastal fogs – and rich green growth.
Our first excursion, naturally, was to a lovely lush valley. Ayn Razat (Ayn is Arabic for Spring) flows all year round, but at this time of year, it is particularly verdant. Steps lead up to a small cave which marks the start of the spring.
Water lillies grow in the still waters below the spring, and water lillies attract dragonflies, which in turn attract a number of different birds.
Dragonflies doing what dragonflies do. The water is incredibly clear and teeming with fish.A white spectacled bulbulA white spectacled bulbulRüppell’s Weavers flying in & out of their nests Rüppell’s Weavers
Driving in this area is entertaining. During the Khareef, the ground in the mountains becomes too soft and boggy for the camels, and they are brought down to the plains in vast numbers. Many seem to be wandering freely, and it is common to see them ambling on the roads. Drivers beware!
The speed limit here is 100kph. And goats too …
We are staying at Fanar Hotel, which was recommended by friends. We booked an ocean view suite, but sadly our room did not live up to expectations. We were unhappy enough to ask to be moved, and I have to say the staff were very helpful, and we are now settled into a lovely room overloooking the hotel pool and the ocean. The site is huge, and this afternoon we took a long walk exploring the beach and gardens, then had a swim in one of the large pools.
Fanar means “lighthouse” in Arabic. The hotel manager told us this is the first blue sky they have seen in 2 months. Coconut palms everywhere give a very tropical feel. This ship (?boat) seems permanently parked nearby. No idea what it is doing.
PS. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ll notice I used a different layout for the photos. I’d love to hear whether you prefer this (i.e. individual photos that you scroll down to see) or the gallery style that I usually use.