Saturday, April 13, 2013

Khasab, Oman

Musandam is the north exclave of Oman, separated from the rest of the country by the UAEKhasab, خصب, is the capital of the Musandam Peninsula.  The town overlooks the Arabian Gulf.  Khasab is home to around 18,000 people.

Khasab started out as a supply port for the Portuguese at the start of the 17th century.

I was picked up for my tour, from Sharjah, and we drove to Khasab.  The drive was only 160 km (100 miles) but it took about 2.5 hours.  There was a bit of traffic on the road but the biggest hold up was at the border.  My American passport qualified me to get an Omani visa on arrival, for 85 Dirhams ($23), but it took over 40 minutes crossing the border each way.

Our Omani dhow
Today was a fantastic day!!  About 20 of us were taken out on a six hour cruise on an Omani dhow.  We spend the day cruising down the fjords.  We were treated to some great food and cast anchor a couple of times from swimming and snorkeling.  Due to the fjords, Khasab is known as the "Norway of Arabia".
Khor Sham

Khor Sham is an awesome 16 km (10 mile) fjord.

Nadifi is a village of around 150 people.  You can't reach it by land.  Almost everyone is a fisherman and the only access is by boat.  Children take a boat to school every Saturday and return home on Wednesday to spend the weekends.  Friday is Islam's holy day so the weekend is Thursday and Friday.

Telegraph Island got its name because in 1864 that's where the British built a telegraph station.  In order to have a telegraph connection between England and India, an underground cable was laid from India to Basra in Iraq.  The island was only manned for a short period of time.


One of the highlights of the day was dolphin watching.  I haven't done that since I was a kid in California.  It was a beautiful day and a nice change from the Czech cold.  

Tomorrow's adventure starts with an early bus to Dubai.

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