Salalah 2013

jgeorge
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Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:38 am

Hi FSL,

I have given public access on my profile...are you not able to see it?

Regards,
jgeorge
jgeorge
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Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:38 pm

Its been more than 4 years since we as a family have been planning to make a trip to Salalah. We did check out all means to have a very economical and convenient trip. Now this was the best bargain we could bet. Who wouldn't like a good bargain?? That was what ALMOST4X4 SaLaLah Tour '13 was all about. Adventure, land, mountains, a lot to travel and never ending entertainment. To all those who couldn't make it and never thought it exciting enough - Sorry, u missed it.

Day 1 : Our trip began from Abu Dhabi and we reached Al Ain as advised and coordinates provided by Abu Salim. We headed from UAE check post thanking God all had managed to pass off with entry permits. Started off loaded with our petrol tanks full at the first Omani petrol station and from our Captain Abu Salim a treat of dates with labneh to energize - now we never knew that was an excellent combination - but later realized that was to keep ourselves not being jinxed by anything that would happen around us. Now that was hilarious accompanied with lots of stories to support the fact but somehow all managed to pass thru the haunted quarters - Nizwa(City of Black Magic):devilish:.

As sunlight slowly creeped in, Arabic Khawah and homemade mini croissants(by M.Shamsi sister) were so warmly served. By broad daylight we were climbing up the mountains towards SaLaLah relieved and excited to see the temperature drop as higher the altitude we got.

By noon we had reached our first exciting spot to see al madhbi chicken crisping up on hot stones with burning coals underneath to a perfect texture in so many stalls all around an area within the valley. With the cool air and the beautiful mountain view, digging into this chicken and well cooked rice was a very good treat. Now that we were tired after a long drive and our hunger quenched, there was nothing more to ask for but a good shower and to hit the bed.

Along the way to our hotel and not far away Abu Mahmoud had to spot some local stuck in the sand at 3 o'clock from the highway. Well Almosters had to be there just so that they could prove their expertise. This eventually gave the other almosters a good time for a dune bashing. When we reached hotel, our kids couldn't resist having a quick swim in the hotel pool to relax after a long drive. Then all that we remember is hitting our pillows. The proposed hotel by Almost4x4 was very much to our liking and we did have a pleasant stay for the three nights.

Day 2 : Now that the team was complete with Abu Tariq joining us on day 2; here's a quick introduction of characters.

Abu Tariq was welcomed warmly at the hotel lobby and all along Abu Tariq and Abu Mahmoud played the father figures. One Shamsi cousin lead us and other Shamsi along with his sons(Saoud and Hamdan) swept us. They also entertained us throughout our trip while Bader :monkey: ended up being the scapegoat for all their wits. Khatib :ninja:hovered over us like a falcon keeping an open eye on each one of us and also carried out few daring attempts. Defrag kept the channel occupied with his frequent questions cause he was excited. His sister Yogi accompanied him to keep his excitement on check and did a good part of the driving herself, which was highly commendable. Toufeeq(Cyanide) drove alone and was mostly a silent listener all along; though he gave us tips when we were not able to switch our Prado back to normal mode.

Day started with a drive to the anti gravity spot. Not very convincing in the beginning though but took our breaths away when we saw our cars go reverse uphill on neutral. Then we headed for breakfast at the beach, besides the spine chilling raging sea. Hot parottas stuffed with chocolate or cheese or filling to your choice was relishing in the cool weather. Karak Tea was the highlight of this stop.

Mughsail beach was our first stop for the day with Marneef Cave a wonderful sight with natural fountains and the blow holes - an entertainment and relaxation for all of us. From here we headed up for a long drive in and out of foggy mountains to numbing heights:034: and to the Yemen border.

We did try to get some quick group pictures:semi-twins: with a foggy background. Had traditional Arabic style lunch with chicken, fish and rice at tea time and headed for a dip in the mountain springs. All the way back a long drive and dinner at al Reef Lebanese Rest. Back to hotel and rest.

Day 3 : Most of us had breakfast at the hotel but those who didn't, had it at our first petrol station for the day. Foggy and drizzling, the day had a very wet start. We managed to go up and down slippery roads to reach the springs and valleys of Wadi Darbat to have a great boat ride in the rain. Spicy mangoes and smell of kababs, egg rolls made the air very enticing on a cold rainy day.

We managed to drive out of this very popular tourist spot and went uphill to get the view of the sinkhole. Here is where Abu Salim and his daring mates:051: managed to go way beneath the sinkhole even giving us the scare as to if they would return. They did manage to come up with Viking ropes they did have handy.

From there the drive was to Jabal Samhan the most spectacular view of all. Winds were at very high knots one could be blown off. But to see two climates merge was out of this world.

Coming back was way beyond lunch time, without lunch cause only camel meat was available way up the mountain which was not pleasing to our palate at that moment. The drive back was long down numerous hairpin curves. All the big boys managed to array their big toyz up a steep mount so that we could get a wonderful picture of the whole group.

We had to return back to hotel for a wash after all the mountaineering and then returned back to the city again for dinner, which did eventually have camel, lamb and chicken for the cuisine in local style. With fireworks in the background, Abu Rashid managed to treat us that night claiming it to be with regards to his wedding. To whom, when, where, why and how he got married will forever remain a mystery to us though:032:. Had quality family bonding Happy time with Almosters that night over dinner and Khawah served later- to put it in Abu Salims words.

Day 4: Being the last day, we had a short visit to the local market and tried a few local produce. Then had sumptuous breakfast at our favourite coffee shop at the beach and loaded ourselves with foodies for the day.

Stopped next at an Omani Halwa shop to taste and purchase some tantalizing hot halwa and headed first to Khabar Nabbi Ayubs tomb. While a few of us went to get a picture of the tomb, Khatib gave tips on how to frost vehicles in the vicinity with wet mud other than your own:011:. Unfortunately Defrag and Cyanide happen to be the recipients of this fun session.

Another foggy, rainy and slippery way up and down the mountain, though the town was much cleared except for the short drizzles. Eventually we went over the mountains heading home. And as we went farther away, the fog got thinner and the temperature started rising as we drove out heading towards UAE.

It was humbling and an honor to see Abu Salim cleaning and washing the number plates and rear lights of all the almosters vehicles. The fun and frolic had not ended yet, cause all along the ride, Shamsi cousins and Abu Mahmoud entertained us with their games, jokes and riddles which managed to keep the whole crew awake and alert through the long drive back. Having dinner at a petrol station and after a couple of miles more Khatib managed to give all a quick water splash :congratulatory: to ensure everyone was awake.

We headed to the border were we dispersed after a quick and warm good bye and well wishes from a warm and welcoming family who will be ready and daring for another adventure sometime soon. Hoping for the same.

Love You Almosters:043:.

This report is by George and me...so you know who.....LOVE YOU SHAMSI.
cyanide
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Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:23 pm

[quote=jgeorge;26888]Adventure, Fun, Thrill all in one package - Best Bargain!!!


Check out the link below to get a glimpse of the fun and excitement:triumphant:...sorry for all those who missed it:miserable:

ps. The photos were taken from a video camera...so please excuse the quality

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 547&type=3[/quote]


Can't access the page !!!
jgeorge
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Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:43 pm

Cyanide - check your private message and call me please
jgeorge
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Sun Aug 25, 2013 2:56 pm

[quote=cyanide;26988]Can't access the page !!![/quote]

All,

To view the pictures, please make sure that you login to FB using your credentials

Rgds,
jgeorge
jgeorge
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Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:06 pm

[video=youtube;0g0Ni7BKqKY][/video]

ps. This is a high resolution video, so please change your setting to 720p or above
jgeorge
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Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:11 pm

Apologies, this video is a bit shaky and YouTube stabilization process has made it go funny. This is the best we could do using a handy-cam from a moving vehicle.

[video=youtube;Q-LV177s41c][/video]

ps. This is a high resolution video, so please change your setting to 720p or above
jgeorge
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Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:59 pm

[video=youtube;PYHs4zk-9rk][/video]
jgeorge
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Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:33 pm

This is the last part of the 4 part series. Hope you all enjoyed the videos

[video=youtube;DxlNLXR7uUM][/video]

ps. This is a high resolution video, so please change your setting to 720p or above
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