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Monday, July 11, 2011

Wadi Shab... an awesome experience !!!!!

Arguably one of the best places to go in Oman for its clear fresh water pools. Wadi in Arabic means valley or a dry river bed, but then when there are rains you would see water flowing down towards the sea in these wadi’s.  There has been instances of flash floods sweeping away the people and vehicle to their doom.

Wadi Tiwi Bridge
Water bird... Crane !!!
Wadi Shab is located about 165 Kms from Muscat on the way to Sur and is about 30 Kms from Qurayyat and if you take the exit mentioning Wadi Shab on the highway you would come to a dead end… instead go 7 Kms further and take Tiwi exit and go along the beach in a dirt track and around the solitary house and then along the back waters of Wadi Tiwi till such time you see a track across the back waters parallel to the high bridge on the highway as shown on the picture beside this note. While we were going along side the back waters we saw a grey crane in the water and my friend took a picture of the same... marvelous.  Take this route and get on to the asphalt road going right through the village there…..narrow roads take you to a mosque and a school.

Keep going till you get a right turn which goes down steeply to Wadi Shab entrance. Park your vehicle beneath the bridge across the back waters of Wadi Shab and then from here on you need to be on foot.

Wadi Shab bridge
Wading through the back waters

We reached there in the morning at about and being low tide then we were able to wade through the backwaters to reach the opposite side from the place we parked our car. 

Into Wadi Shab
Then keep following the foot trail for over 45 minutes and then you get the glimpse of the first fresh water pool which is quite deep and people who know to swim could really have fun…but then me and couple of others in our group don’t swim so we trekked along this pool and reached the second pool where there is a shallow spot just about 4 feet deep and non swimmers can splash around.

View of first pool

Well since we had been told that there is a pool which is connected to a cave and if you could go through the opening beside the pool underwater it open out to a cave with a waterfall and also sunlight streaking in through the openings in the ceiling of the cave creating a beautiful scene. So we trekked ahead only to find our way becoming increasingly difficult to walk over boulders and navigate around larger rock falls and we kept on going for over half a hour and yet we did not reach that particular pool. Half way through one of the gang climbed on to a huge fall of rock to see if he could find the way to the pool but only found huge boulders strewn with difficult path around to reach the Date palms in the far end of the valley.By this time all the group members were tired and wanted to turn back to the second pool and have a dip in inviting blue water. So we turned back without going to the pool with the cave.

Second pool
Another view of Second Pool
 Once back at the second pool we immediately changed our dresses and jumped into the fresh water pool and my it was so refreshing that we never wanted to be out of the water. Four of us were splashing in the shallow part and others were swimming the entire length of the pool and also diving off the 7 feet rock beside the pool. While we having a dip an elderly Omani man came down the side of the mountain and came into the pool for his dip prior to the Friday afternoon prayer. On querying the man we were told that the pool with the cave is about hour and half from the present pool and only persons who know swimming can enter that pool…. Well a blessing in disguise because even if we had been to the pool we would not have been able to reach the cave and experience the splendor mentioned by many people and on Google.

Well after a refreshing swim we had poori and bhajji and then started our walk back to the car. When we returned back to the point we had crossed over we found that the tide was in and the water level quite high to wade back to the car. So we had to take a boat ride back and the boatman charges 200 baizas per person. In all a great trip in long time and we thoroughly enjoyed this adventure.