Monday, November 26, 2012

#904 Musandam Peninsula, Oman

Very few people, if they know where Oman is, know about the enclave of Oman at the northern tip of Arabia, jutting into the straits of Hormuz. The most common visitors tend to be from the United Arab Emirates, as it is much closer than the main cities of Oman proper. Forming the land barrier between the Indian Ocean and the Arabian/Persian Gulf, the geology is similar to that of Oman on the other side, and is an ancient rock formation of spectacular arrangement. With barely one sealed road, and many off-road 4WD excursions available, it is a place to go with your own car. 

The main town on the western (and more developed side) is Khasab, but really, it is a one-service station town, with only a handful of hotels and even fewer restaurants. It is the setting off point for cruises into the isolated bays of Musandam, where you can find Telegraph Island, where poor souls were stationed for months on end to man the British telegraph station that was connecting continents here.

Because most of the peninsula is made up of small primitive villages, little has changed in the past millenia. Rock art can be seen in many villages, and the animal life is great -- many egrets and other birds nestle on the sea-side rocks, while dolphins frolic through the bays jumping over the wake of the relatively few boats that visit. Most boats are in the image of the ancient dhows that have plied the water routes across the gulf for centuries - a lovely day out!

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