Sunday, January 29, 2012
My Own Photos: Sama Al Wasil Desert Camp in Al Sharqiya
Sama Al Wasil desert camp is located just 15 kilometers inland from Al Wasil village in Bediya on the main road from Muscat to Sur. It does require a four wheel drive to get there, but if you don't have one or aren't confident driving on sand you can arrange to have the camp pick you up when you make your reservation [968 25 586 036 or firstname.lastname@example.org]. We had the camp pick us up and along the way we saw this beduoin family and some camels (but my photos of the camels sucked so I will not bore you with them).The camp has three basic kinds of accomodation (tents, which I didn't see the inside of), and one and two bedroom houses, each of which has a nice clean western style bathroom and a sitting area outside. In case you aren't a traditional sleep on the ground kind of camper which some of the women in my family certainly are not, there are beds, and electricity and heaters (the desert gets cold at night). The camp is run on a generator and the power is from 6:00 pm-10:30 pm. Depending on the size and type of accomodation you get, prices range from 25-60 Omani rial (prices include meals).In the center of the camp there is the social area which is very large to accomodate mixing and/or privacy, and serves Omani coffee, nescafe, Indian kerak, red tea, juice, sodas, and water 24 hours a day, as well as some fresh fruit. It is really beautiful at night, sitting under the light of the multi-coloured lanterns. There is also a play area for children, which our family really enjoyed. The adults of course, preferred to enjoy the flawless veiw of the night sky, and for the more sporty, there is a football/soccer pitch, and a volleyball net. ATVs [all-terrain vehicles] can be rented at the cost of 10 rials, and camel rides, both of which can be arranged when making your booking with the company. Everyone in our family enjoyed using the ATVs around the red sand dunes.There is also a large tented area for the meal service. A buffet, serving different grilled meats, and salad options, as well as some fresh juices, and soft drinks. I found it well worth the climb, early in the morning, to scale the dunes to watch the sunrise. The tracks of all the desert creatures, lizards, birds, mice, are clear, and the shifting shades of colour on the dunes is why one goes out into the desert in the first place. The serene peace of it all, the clearest night skies one may know, and the clean horizons of undulating red sand. I heart Al Sharqiya. The tent accomodation at Sama Al Wasil:The house accomodation. Our family booked the entire camp for privacy and they catered really well for our large party.A goodbye breakfast for those who don't enjoy breakfast; qhawa and fresh fruit:Goodbye Sama Al Wasil. Until next winter.