Destination: Hajir

25 Feb 2016
POSTED BY Y Magazine
Venturing off the beaten path and up into the mountains, Shaquel al Balushi finds a quiet area of calm at Hajir

Considering it was still early afternoon and my friends and I had already happened across a new wadi [Issue 407] and explored Sinaw Souk [Issue 408], I felt like I was on a roll.



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Spurred on by the morning’s events and with a newfound love for discovering Oman, we decided to take a turn into a mountainous region on our way back to Muscat. It’s not every week I get to use a 4×4 for my Destination feature and I was determined to make the most of the opportunity.

Meandering down Route 27, the Hajar Mountains loomed large ahead of us. One particular mountain caught my eye due to its size and the fact it looked like it had been cut in half. The scene was very dramatic and so we decided to investigate further, turning down a track to our right and heading further into the wilderness.

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We drove as far as we could along a winding path that suddenly opened out into a vast area. Seeing that the terrain would not allow the jeep to continue any further, we parked and continued the journey on foot. I didn’t see any signs revealing the name of the place, but checking on Google Maps, I found that we were around Hajir.

The was a kind of desolate beauty to this place. Gnarled and twisted bits of dried wood and the bleached bones of goats gave a barren feel on one side, but this was contrasted by greenery and palm trees on the other.

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We were walking with no particular aim or direction and although we saw a few basic dwellings, along with evidence of a thriving farming community, we hardly saw anyone around; it was very quiet.

We also passed a few ruins of old buildings, showing that this area has been inhabited for many years.

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One of my friends, still in the “disguise” he had adopted to blend in at Sinaw Souk, kept wandering ahead and almost looked like someone who called the mountains home.

Once again, just as we had found with Wadi Uyun earlier that morning, the vegetation was completely different to what we were used to in the capital. Many of the bushes had long stems and branches that reached up to the sky, bursting into a flurry of green at the end.

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This rocky region of Oman made for a pleasant walk and thankfully, the weather was perfect. The sun was shining, but the temperature was mild and there was enough of a breeze blowing to prevent us from getting too hot. The only downside was we were all wearing dishdashas from our morning visit to the souk, which didn’t make for the most mobile trekking attire.

The surroundings were impressive, though, and the view was great. The mountains weren’t too steep, which means even those new to trekking in Oman should be able to enjoy a day out here.

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As for the sharp mountain that had initially drawn us in, one of my friends mentioned that the hills and mountains of this area are used to make tiles, which could explain the sharp cut in the rock.

Hajir is a very chilled-out place and at a little over 100km from Muscat, a great option for a day trip before the temperatures gets too high again.

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How to get there:

From Muscat, travel on Route 15, taking the turn for Route 23 around Bidbid. Stay on Route 23 for roughly 66km and there should be a track on your left. If you reach the Shell fuel station and the turning for Route 27, you’ve gone too far.

GPS location of the turning: N22° 55’ 47.78” E58° 15’ 27.596”


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