Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Caving in Oman: Al Hoota Cave, a way to stay cool and fit this summer

I am not a huge caving person but I do enjoy climbing. Caves+climbing ARE fun to me. So I guess that makes me an intermediate caver by Oman tourism standards. Oman has caves ranging from beginner to expert. One of the tourists I talked to who wasn't a big climber but was moderately fit recommended to me that everyone check out Al Hoota cave, near Al Hamra, Oman (close to Nizwa). MOP is a big caver as he has gone into most of the caves in Oman in the days before they had much safety (some of his stories of exploring caves in Sharqiyah and Salalah SCARE ME), and he has a special fondness for Hoota cave, as he explored it before it was organized into safe sectors for tourists. The area at the entrance used to have unstable boulders I guess but now the government tourism sector built a train to take visitors in safely.Al Hoota cave, aka Al Falah Cave, near Al Hamra, at 4.5 km long is the second longest cave in Oman after Koshilat Maqandeli. Al Hoota is apparently the name given to the sink, and Al Falah to the resurgence.The entrances to Al Hoota are in a 45m deep sink hole and both have short pitches needing 15m rope. The passage downstream leads via a stepped passage (thus making it easier for new-cavers) to a lake containing blind fish (Garra barreimiae). At its highest points this can involve a swim around 50 m. But the safety of all cavers in Al Hoota is managed by professionals (and yes, these people good and not just some kid from the village who doesn't know anything about caves and safety).
Beyond the lake route, there are chambers well decorated with speleothems, and large gour pools (according to a caving site that liked Al Hoota). So if you are looking for a nice way to stay cool and keep fit this summer, why not try exploring some of Oman's beautiful and world famous caves? I am going to. If you want to see Al Hoota cave, try to make a reservation, as they only let so many visitors in a day to preserve the natural beauty of this wonder of Oman's subterreanean. To do so, visit www.alhootacave.com

1 comment:

♥ααℓiα♥ said...

Blaaaah can u imagine what kind of spiders lurk around in there O_o