Shaquel al Balushi goes back to the gorgeous Wadi Arbaeen and reacquaints himself with a place that offers serious R&R.
You know what they say about Mother Earth; to walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles. While that statement may be open to question in today’s fast-paced world, it must be noted that I am still a believer, and not a day goes by during which I do not appreciate the “miracles” of nature.
One such location is the beautiful Wadi Arbaeen that I had headed to in the autumn of 2016. It was mesmerising, to say the least. But, of late, I was itching to go back there.
So, last week, when one of my closest friends stopped by Oman for a vacation from South Africa, I decided to head to Wadi Arbaeen once again; you know, with the intention of showing off the beauty of my country.
There are plenty of images of the wadi up on the internet, and there’s no denying that it is by far one of the busiest tourist destinations in Oman.
To avoid the rush of visitors, and get a chance to experience the wadi at its quietest, we decided to head there early.
So, we drove down there in the wee, small hours of the morning – 4am to be precise.
The drive to the wadi is straight forward: if you start from Muscat, you must proceed across Route 17, to Sur. Roughly 120kms into the journey, take the exit – that is clearly sign-posted – towards the wadi. You will then see a T-junction, where you must make a left turn.
The directions are clearly marked, and it is unlikely you will get lost.
As with most wadis, the road that leads to the wadi is harsh, and you would require an SUV to cross it. Thankfully, my trusty Jeep could take on the perils without too much stress.
Once there, my friend and I quickly settled down in our chairs and soaked in the sunrise and the octaves (sounds) resonating when the water hit the surrounding rocks.
This made me ponder upon the hypnotic capabilities of our Mother Nature, and how it all ties into one, to make life a harmonious and lyrical place to live in.
The beauty isn’t just auditory, though. It extends visually, too: the sights are beyond what the camera can ever capture.
I quickly snapped a few photos, just to get started with work for the magazine. But, in a few moments, I realised that these few photos had started turning into many hundreds of images.
If you look at the photos, you can see that the rocks at Wadi Arbaeen are smooth, and there are plants growing in between the crevices – giving the area a tropical feel.
Giving us company on the trip were a few donkeys and goats, who, much like us, wanted to soak in the various offerings of Wadi Arbaeen. Of course, they were more in line with grazing on the grass and sipping on the water.
Oh, and the water… it was crystal-clear, and I was loving every bit of it. We took a dip in it to refresh ourselves.
The wadi at Arbaeen is known to accommodate some of Oman’s most stunning waterfalls during the rainy season. However, that was not the case, this time.
But, all of this meant there was less turbulence. Therefore, I could replicate some stunning reflections of the rocks and grass on the water. Wadi Arbaeen really is a dream location for photographers.
While I’m at it, I must also thank the Municipality for setting up toilets in the vicinity. It promotes cleanliness at the wadi.
Sadly, despite the toilets and dustbins, people still dump their rubbish in the waters. I really pray the day will come when everyone will respect the environment, and start acting a bit more responsibly.
Wadi Arbaeen – after a day of adventure – I can boldly state is a perfect place for tourists and locals to spend some quality time away from the city.
This is probably why it is a haven for campers (providing there is no rain, of course).
In all, we had a really nice time relaxing, here. It’s funny how malls and shopping have taken over our lives. But come to think of it: why would anyone spend money to buy happiness when they can simply head to Wadi Arbaeen?
From Muscat, travel on Route 17 for 120km and then exit right. Follow the road until it turns to a dirt track. When you reach a T-junction, take a left turn, following the sign to Wadi Arbaeen.
GPS location of Wadi Arbaeen: N23° 2’ 42.665” E58° 59’ 2.582”