The tallest rock at Wadi Tiwi is a puzzling fascination for visitors but it could get quite punishing, as it happened in the case of the cousin who accompanied Shaquel al Balushi on his latest expedition.
Let me start by asking you a quick question: how frustrated do you get when someone ruins all your plans? While the answer to that may vary depending on the person, I tend to take such instances very seriously; it annoys me when such things happen.
I came across one such dilemma this week when I decided to head to the wadi of Tiwi for a quick stopover. As most of you readers will know, I like starting my journey early in the morning.
The temperatures are usually low and the colours of the sky soft; it’s the perfect time to head out for a road trip. But things didn’t go as planned this time around as Hanif – my cousin – who had agreed to join me on my escapade simply failed to wake up… until 7:30am.
Remember, I usually begin my day at 5:30am, as it is the best time to capture the morning skies. Oh, and the roads are also (usually) deserted at that hour. In any case, it was 8:30am by the time Hanif prepared himself and lumbered towards
I still decided to make the best of the situation by devising a plan – an evil one. But I’ll save that for the later part of the story.
As expected, we came across some traffic on our way to Tiwi.
It is a destination that beckons visitors from all over the Sultanate.
The wadi is easily accessible for people living within the capital but is also only a few hours’ ride away for those staying in farther parts of Muscat.
Nevertheless, it was 10am by the time we reached the location.
Wadi Tiwi never fails to call out to me: it is always gushing with crystal-clear waters and is also a place to test out your fitness levels – which as you know is what I like.
So, I did what any adventurist would do – I parked my car in the foot of the wadi and decided to trek across with my camera equipment.
This came as an inconvenience for Hanif who loves being nestled in his car. It took us a good 30 minutes to truly enter the wadi, upon which we could only think of splashing and cooling down in the waters of the wadi.
The waters were quite cool as the sun hadn’t done its job of heating up the rocks as well as I had thought
After a quick Roman-style bath, I decided to teach Hanif a lesson for having kept me waiting at home.
I asked him to climb on top of the tallest rock formation in the wadi – “the challenging rock” – as it is dearly dubbed, by visitors. As you can see here, it is fairly towering.
Granted, it is a risky climb but it isn’t something one should be too bothered about if they have been rock climbing before.
Hanif rejected my request at first but then (hesitantly) obliged when I told him that I would be clicking photos of him atop the rock.
The climb is fairly easy: you grab on to the most stable rock and lunge upwards; it is the descend that is terrifying. Thankfully – and I say this with an evil smile – Hanif didn’t think too much before starting his climb.
So, it was only once he looked down from the top when he realised that he was pretty much trapped there for eternity.
I carried on clicking pics of a mystified Hanif while bursting out in a fit of laughter like never before. I also took a video of the incident for my archives.
But soon I could see that he was remorseful for what he had done to me. Therefore, I (eventually) instructed him as he lowered his body downwards.
I must be honest, I was regretting sending him up there, as a fall would have proven fatal.
Nonetheless, it took a whole 20 minutes for him to get down; it was nerve-wracking and hysterical at the same time.
We then proceeded deeper into the wadi, and stumbled upon large boulders of rocks, surrounded by water.
Some of the inclines are so steep that you will require professional equipment to keep yourself safe – do keep that in mind.
Fearing we would get lost, we decided to head back to our Jeep, but not before a final session of reminiscing – with Hanif – at the foothill of one of the mountains.
We talked about how we would pull each other’s legs for a laugh when we were young boys.
And you know what? We realised that 30 years later, we were still the same.
From Muscat, take Route 17 until you pass Wadi Shab. Take the turn-off for Tiwi a few kilometres further on, driving back on yourself along the coast and through the village until you see the overpass. The path into Wadi Tiwi starts under this bridge.
GPS location of Wadi Tiwi: N22º 47’ 34.577”; E59º 13’ 49.694”