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Letters from the Oman Trail – Looking for camp

Letters from the Oman Trail – Looking for camp

I unpacked, set up my tent while the light is still out and take a VIP seat for the up-coming sunset spectacle.
My day is complete, I have seen the full circle of light, time to rest…

When I tell you there is no need for a plan in life ! Even when you think you have it all covered, prepared in all details, you are confronted with obstacles, surprises, and the unexpected that will divert you from the initial route. The desert is never the same. What you saw yesterday is gone tomorrow. The wind made sure of that. What you remembered as an easy way out, is now a wall of technical dunes. I’m fine with that. Nature is all mighty, can’t complain. She won’t listen to me anyway despite all the respect I have for her. Man made obstacles, on the other hand, always annoy me. Especially when I don’t see the use for it. Every day a new fence is erected, every day a new road is built. Some call it progress, not sure. What I don’t get, is why this new road cuts through a well established trail, blocking it with a raised concrete middle section ? It means miles of detour to reach a possible U-turn to come back to the other side standing only a few feet away. Nothing here is ever done with fuel economy in mind. I get the sense they suffered so long from life in the desert, they’ll try all they can to erase it.

Detour is the norm here anyway, no choice. Instead of following the black snake, I return a bit on my tracks and head down for a wadi I know. It’s more scenic anyway. The sun is starting to go down. Doesn’t make it any cooler, just a more attractive light on the sand. It’s time to think about a proper camp site. Finding the right spot is crucial and often tricky. Too close to civilization and you’re sure to be “checked” upon. Too attractive of a dune, and you can bet someone will come take a picture, or play during the night to test his engine; one go at it, a second, till they get stuck and it’s hours listening to them trying to get out, killing every hope of sleep you may have had. Being still close to Dubai, it’s important to look up for planes. The most idilic spot can turn into a Dubai airport extension once the sun is down. Frankly, there might be no escape to that tonight, they come from all over. In the mountains, a narrow wadi is to be avoided at all cost. One flash rain shower somewhere you don’t even know, and water will wash you away before you realize what’s going on. I’m in a large desert wadi, it’s summer, chances of rain are slim, and I see a small “island” in the middle of it large enough for me and my tent. No need to go further, this should be perfect.
 
I unpacked, set up my tent while the light is still out and take a VIP seat for the up-coming sunset spectacle.
My day is complete, I have seen the full circle of light, time to rest…
 

sunset in the desert
Sunset in the Arabian desert.

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