Shaquel al Balushi that the wadi of Lasmu is great for wiling away some time, and has a unique line in free pedicures.
I can scarcely believe it but it has been three long months since I last ventured out for a Destination. Keen readers will know that I was actually away for quite a while due to a shoulder injury.
Now I’m back in business, and trust me when I say this: I couldn’t feel any better but because I’m only just getting back into the swing of things at Y, I’m taking it steady.
So, accompanying me on my trip is my old buddy Imran, who is also my designated driver for the day. Unlike the old days, however, this time we actually sit down to pinpoint a location for our trip so we don’t get lost. Have you seen the temperature and humidity levels around here? Ufff!
Our destination is Wadi Lasmu, a wadi disconnected (but not too far away) from civilisation; and one that is actually known to be wet all-year around. We here at Y have also never headed there so this would be a first for us.
So, bags set and Imran’s trusty Pajero all filled up with fuel, we head out into the unknown.
The drive is fairly straightforward: we take Route 17 highway and then take the turn towards the village of Quriyat. From there, we have to resort to using Google Maps, as there are no known markings pointing towards this wadi, and surprisingly even the remote village that surrounds it.
In any case, we proceed across the Quriyat road and get as close to the village as possible before heading off-road towards the direction we think is the safest and most vehicle-friendly.
Mind you, you will still require an SUV should you want to head here. After a few minutes of gravel driving we begin to see greenery and wildlife (goats, mostly).
Another 10 minutes of driving later, the GPS tells us that we are in the heart of the wadi. So, we disembark from our “warrior” SUV and scour the land on foot; not because the SUV cannot take more but rather because I have to start taking pictures.
There’s abundant water in the wadi, and there are many different “pools” – some deep enough to bathe in – that are scattered across the terrain. The temperature is a mild 30-degrees Celsius, too although humidity is a mood-killer.
I begin shooting and getting back into the groove of work. I first snap some images of the wildlife that is around, and the beautiful wild shrubs and grass that have completely taken over the wet areas.
Obviously, these are known to disappear in the summer months in many other wadis I have been in. But because the wadi is carefully nestled between mountains, shadows are always cast on the whereabouts thus leading to better climactic conditions for wildlife.
I notice that there are two other groups who have been camping in the area too. However, I don’t intend to disrupt their day and continue without disturbing them.
Imran and I then have a dip in the wadi, which consists of crystal, clear water that has a steady and smooth rate of flow. Imran takes a nice bath while I set my camping chair in the water and simply sit there – in the middle of the wadi.
The sound of the water hitting the thin legs of the chair makes a very distinct sound, and it is very, very soothing to listen to. I sit there for minutes, enjoying this moment of tranquility. However, soon, I feel something weird and ticklish on my feet.
Looking down, I see a shoal of tiny wadi fish nibbling down on my feet. Well, I’ll tell you this: it is the cheapest pedicure I have ever had. No appointments, no annoying queues and no expense. This is the ideal trip after months of being bogged down with physiotherapy at home.
Soon, Imran joins me, too. We then sit together to chew the fat.
Imran calls the place “mesmerising”, and I concur. Funnily enough, there isn’t much banter between us this time around. It can only be because we have just resumed these excursions we take together.
I give it a couple more weeks before he and I start our usual (friendly) fights.
Oh, as for Wadi Lasmu, I would like to advise those interested in trekking there to head down on the weekend. It really is worth it. A disconnect like this is exactly what we all need. Let nature work its magic on you. And while you’re at it, try out its free pedicure, too.
From Muscat, take the Route 17 and head straight to the village of Quriyat. Take the turn-off towards Wadi Daykah, and keep to the road. Use your GPS to roughly locate the destination of the village of Lasmu. Head off-road for 20 minutes, and you will reach the wadi.