Sharqiya Sands • Al Hajar Mountains
October 2014 • Couldn't conjure enough enthusiasm to hire a guide for camping, so I drove around the Sharqiya Sands and Al Hajar Mountains on my own instead. Options were limited due to not having a 4WD, but it didn't really matter because Oman's few highways serve these regions well. Beware of jin, though. Some people in this region believe there are devilish spirits that are especially active near Bahla, which is around where my first rental car broke down. Lesson unlearned, I drove up nearby Jebel Shams a week later in a different car from a different company, then snacked on my stomach lining as the transmission made hellish noises during the 9,000-foot descent under a darkening sky. The saving grace in both emergencies: Omanis appeared out of nowhere to help, and wouldn't leave until the problem was solved.
Irrigation system, Misfat
Julien & Aurore, Jebel Shams