Friday, January 16, 2009

Jump for my love...



OK, folks, thank you for being patient. I'm about 2 1/2 weeks behind in my blogging. The price one (joyfully in my case) pays for having guests. Last night Pat and Colleen said their good-byes and began the long journey back to the States. So now I have lots of ground to make up, and I appreciate your patience.

Back to Muscat...

....A Muscat cat


Our second night in Oman was the football (ie soccer) game between Oman and Kuwait, hosted in Muscat's Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex. The game was on every television, on every radio. I went downstairs to watch the game on a huge projection screen the hotel had set up in the courtyard by the pool to watch, but by overtime Thomas was getting pretty squirrely and I went back upstairs to put him to bed. By the time I went out on the balcony to check and see if anyone had scored they were putting the screen away and I figured, from the sound of car horns blaring all over town that Oman must have scored and won after all. The celebrating, cheers, and honking went on all night. It wasn't until morning that we found out that the final score was 0-0. They'd tied.


After breakfast outside beneath the hotel's canopied dining area, we left any possibility of Starbucks or McDonalds behind and headed away from the city and down the coast towards Sur, continuing through the stark beauty of the sand and rock of the Eastern Hajjar Mountains. Matilda continued to be patient with us. Our first stop was the Bimmah Sinkhole in the middle of the desert. There were no signs, or even obvious roads to it, but with the aid of Matilda's GPS and persistence we made it there.

The Oman Gulf was about a km away, and turquoise and green waters were far, far down in the limestone sinkhole.


Our little group followed the steps in down to it, and Bethy and I waded gleefully into its salty waters for a swim with our clothes on.



At the deep end of the waters was a rope so that on could climb up to a high limestone shelf...for jumping off of, of course. And of course, you know who just had to swim over and jump off of it.




Twice, actually.

Bethy counted me in and Thomas giggled as hard as anyone has ever heard him when I hit the water.



No one knows how deep the sinkhole is, and there are supposed to be blind cavefish living in its waters. The locals call it Bayt al-Afreet, the House of the Demon. We didn't actually see the demon...


After splashing and playing enough, we made our soggy way back to Bird Car, where a shaggy group of goats were busy checking out the dining scene in the nearby dumpster. Thomas upped their happiness quotient for the day by sharing his apple with them.



A bus dropped off many well-hidden women shielded beneath their black abayas who had come to see the sinkhole as well. I can't imagine what they thought of us. I'm sure there's a word for nutty white person in Arabic...

2 comments:

carol.penney said...

One can only imagine what those women would have thought had they seen you swinging from the cliff and landing in the water! What fun...

Natalie said...

The great thing was that there were a couple of French guys watching and when they saw me climb up there and jump in, well, then they had to try it out too!

They also had recommendations for us as to which tour guide was best at the Sea Turtle Sanctuary. Fun fellows.