Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Kenya, UK, Oman

Dawn in the UAE's Arabian Desert 
A bit of a blank on the blog of late due to a hectic few weeks with a busy surge in Kenya finishing with a stint in hospital, a trip to the UK for some wind and rain before finishing up now sat writing this sat on a rooftop looking over the straits of Hormuz on the Persian Gulf in Oman looking out over a huge electrical storm on the Iranian side. 
Flying over Kenya 

BBQ with Mr Peck in Kenya 
Pie night with Mum and Dad in Langwthby Cumbria 
I had a fairly ferocious bout of Tick Fever while in Kenya which led to a few very unpleasant days in hospital. Although the Dr at the cottage hospital in Nanyuki seemed to know straight away what it was and it was dealt with swiftly. Following that I had a few days rest in Nanyuki to clear it up before flying back to the UK. The weather seemed to be pretty much as I had left it the last time with some heavy rain and winds passing through.  A short trip but nice to catch up with Mum and Dad although the weather didn't permit to much in the way of outdoor things but it was nice to relax a bit. 
First top in the Musamdam mountains Oman 

Zing Bay Omman
From there it was out to Dubai and some work in Oman over the next while just across the border from the UAE. I was picked up at Dubai airport and was immediately struck by the heat which was somewhat hotter than Kenya and certainly Cumbria. We drove down through the UAE. The UAE is made up of seven emirates with its capital being Abu. Once over the border we reached Dibba situated on the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula on the straits of Hormuz with Iran opposite. Sat under the impressive backdrop of the Musandam mountains these sharp steep mountains shoot up from the Persian Gulf in the Indian ocean are pretty spectacular but very arid with only a few acacias hanging on in the heat. I settled into the house which sits on the beech and then had a good look around the sites with a view to developing the climbing sites and also the trekking which is offered here and also working with various groups passing through over the winter. The summer here would not make for a pleasant time with the temperatures sometimes tipping the hottest place in the world. I have visited a couple of the tops and also the climbing areas in the nearby Wadi which is has some very impressive ground. There are no rolling hills here all seem to involve a very sharp up with some interesting ridge lines to follow. The coast also offers some great paddling and deep water soloing stretching out along the Omani coastline. There is a huge potential for more here, there is an active climbing scene here with various guides published for both here and mainland Oman. Its not what people think of when they think of Dubai and Abu Dhabi but there is plenty more here than the skyscrapers of the main cities. The trekking is also very impressive with even the most simple of walks offering some pretty unique views and situations. 

Good bouldering in Wadi Hilti, Omman
We also had a corporate event in the desert in the UAE which was good experiencing the desert style of camping. The Sahara desert seemed to be just a lot of dry rocky ground but the desert here on the edge of the Empty Quarter is dune after dune, some reaching big heights. The Arabian Desert being much more of what I thought of a desert, not the place to loose your bearings though. 
The locals seem a very friendly bunch, situated next to the marina we have access and only last night had some fresh of the boat nice Tuna and Barracuda steaks which we very good. They do also come back with sharks which makes me wonder a bit swimming in the sea but hopefully they are further out although I have noticed a the hotel they have a shark net up on their part of the beachfront. I have been in a shark netted bay before on Hong Kong’s Lamma island when someone came over the tannoy in Chinese and people left am not sure why but I chose to take no notice but quickly did when something very large started thrashing at the edge of the net. 

A nice place with plenty on offer and hopefully a good season ahead before returning to Kenya in the spring which is spring in the UK and more heading into winter in Kenya and the summer in Oman, I think. 

Views over the Musandam Mountains 

Heading into the Wadi's