Y’s intern Taylor Glover experiences her first rains in Oman and heads to a nearby wadi to understand just what all the fuss is about.
My first Destination day trip started out as what I thought was a cold, wet and miserable day. We Aussies often associate rain with negative connotations because it means we can’t go to the beach, mow our lawns or ride our pet kangaroos (just joking!) However, here in Oman, it is a very different story.
Y Magazine’s photographer Shaquel Al Balushi, a few of his friends and I headed off into a glorious sky of rain. The wet weather symbolises a joyous occasion for Omani people, considering the lack of rain here.
Our journey began with a few snacks and Mountain Dews for the boys. The traffic was heavier than usual due to the excitement of the unsettled weather.
After about 20 minutes we, and the rest of the Jeep Fleet, arrived at Wadi Al Khoud. Even though it was a working day – Tuesday – many people had managed to be there to celebrate, such is the rarity of rain here.
Driving at a snail’s pace over large pebbles, we gingerly entered the wadi, and I could already feel the car giving and taking as the wheels caught and lost traction.
This being my first off-road drive, I was a little nervous. But I was confident in our driver – Shaquel’s cousin, Haneef – as he is an experienced trail boss. I watched other vehicles cross the first deep wadi as their tyres disappeared into the running water before coming out the other side. As we charged towards the water, a spray of mist surrounded the car, setting me into a fit of giggles. For some reason, things like four-wheel-driving and theme park rides bring out the excitement in me.
We bulleted ahead, with Haneef alternating the steering wheel from side to side to maintain traction so we didn’t get stuck. The stunning mountains in the distance were too much for Shaquel not to pull his camera out for, so we took a break and savoured the stunning landscape of Khoud Village. People were sprawled all over the mountains, with some people having picnics, others taking selfies or playing with children. It was a breathtaking scene.
The cool breeze whipped through my hair as I took in my surroundings. Incredible ombre mountains deepened in colour as they scaled down towards the earth, leading down into an array of bushes and plants that camouflaged the rocks and running water of the wadi.
The drizzle had stopped for the time being and just for a minute, I was blessed with a fleeting moment to capture the sun beaming down onto the damp pebbles and mountains, making them shine.
My first experience of wadi-bashing was incredibly thrilling. It’s a bit like going on your favourite theme park ride over and over again and being unable to catch a clear shot of the wonders around you. I’ll definitely be back to encounter fresh adventures at more wadis. I will, however, make a more sensible choice of footwear. My new, pristinely white Converse trainers clearly don’t cut it in the rocky, muddy terrain of a wadi.
Follow the road out of Muscat on Route 15, also known as Nizwa Road. Continue past Sultan Qaboos University, which will be on your left until you get to a roundabout where you will go straight. Head down the hill into Khoud Village and pass the mosque on your right. Not much farther down, there is the entry to the Wadi for SUVs and there is parking available.
23°34’20.1″; N 58°07’06.7″E