Thursday, October 09, 2014

Camping on Jebel Shams

The last time we camped on Jebel Shams (Sun Mountain - the highest mountain in Oman. The summit is at about 3000m; we camped at 2000m) was in 2011. Jeremy has been back a few times since to climb the mountain, but this was only our second trip there as a family. We were hoping to escape the heat and we were not disappointed - temperatures during the two nights we were there dropped down to 14C (57F) and the days were sunny and warm but not too hot.

Here are some highlights.

I finally got to use my Shewee (YES I AM GOING TO TALK ABOUT THIS. BRIEFLY). Verdict: potentially super useful, but you really have to practice with it before you intend to use it in the wild, or else you might soil the clothes you were planning on wearing for the next three days (uh, might. Just sayin').

Sterling was thrilled to assume that we just lived outside now. He loves being outside, so camping worked out really well for him. He got soooo dirty and never had to go "inside."

We (at least Jeremy and I) had two nights of pretty awful sleep. This is the thing about camping. I haven't had a good, old-fashioned, cosy night of sleep while camping since one time when we went camping in Ithaca in 2010. Plus, PLUS, my iPod Shuffle was inexplicably dead (of battery) upon arrival, which meant I got to be alone with just my thoughts for lots of hours in the middle of the night instead of having a podcast to lure me back into some semblance of sleep.

We saw yet another animal sacrifice for Eid. This one was a goat. The girls got such a cultural education on this trip.

We hiked on a path overlooking Oman's Grand Canyon to an abandoned village. It was super cool.

A massive storm blew in on the second afternoon. And of course it happened while Jeremy was up the mountain on a several-hour run and I was at the tent with the kids. It was a thrilling/terrifying time that ended in Jeremy coming back early (thank goodness!) and us frantically packing up the site in heavy wind and rain. (Sadly, this is not the first time we have had to do that.) We were lucky to find refuge at a campground/hotel nearby. It was pretty rustic, and the girls had to sleep on camp pads on the floor, so we maintained the aura of camping but enjoyed the safety of a roof over our heads.

I took this picture in our hotel room.

so much depends

a metal frame

hampered by a crooked

beside the satellite

Oman continues to be a favorite road trip destination. I read somewhere that Oman is kind of like the UAE's outdoor playground, and I can't help but agree. It was a relief to be away from the extreme temperatures for a few days, and a treat to get into some altitude and see some new sights.


Jen said...

Of COURSE you had a good night's sleep in Ithaca. Because it's heaven, of course. Remember? Remember Heaven?


That picture of that canyon. WOW. That is stunning.

Hannah said...

Looks like a fun trip. I've been curious about the shewee and similar products, but haven't had the courage to actually test them out. Might be something for me to think about, too, considering the dearth of facilities in some parts of Kazakhstan.

Kathy Haynie said...

Love the take on William Carlos Williams. Looks like a wonderful camping trip! We discovered abandoned mining cabins while we backpacked in August. Not quite as cool as a whole village, but definitely added to our experience.

Bridget said...

Hannah, one of the stated uses of the Shewee is at icky toilets, which I had never thought of before. Less contact, you know?

Jen, I KNOW. Glad you understand.

Kathy, an abandoned mining village might have been just the thing this trip!

Jen said...

Beautiful poetry.

Susanne said...

Great post. What do your girls think of seeing animal sacrifices?

And, my goodness, Sterling looks like he has a mouthful of teeth! One of my nephews didn't get any until he was 14 months old.

Bridget said...

They thought it was pretty cool! And yes, Sterling does have a mouthful of teeth. Four each on top and bottom, with molars coming in already!

Liz Johnson said...

That poem about the chair deserves some sort of prize. I hearby bestow upon you the Liz Johnson Prize for Poetic Proficiency, Profundity, and Prettiness.

Glenda The Good said...

Beautiful...well besides that chair. That chair was sad....

Jenn Ridgeway said...

Your WCW poem made my day! Seriously. Thank you.

Bridget said...

Thank you!


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