More Deserts, More Abandoned Villages

From Nizwa, we drive to a place where we spend the night in the desert at the edge of the Sharqiya Sands. (We leave Lawrence behind in a village 12 KMs away and are driven to the camp in a 4WD vehicle.)

Basic accommodation

Many of these desert-camping places are expensive, and feature luxuries like swimming pools (!) and air conditioning. This one does not. Just a non-air-conditioned tent.

Our tent

Meals are included, and are served in a covered, rug-strewn dining area.

Watch out for scorpions

We go for a sundown drive.

Jumping for joy

Here are a few desert photos.

‘What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.’ -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Polish comes from the cities, wisdom from the desert.’ – Frank Herbert
‘A desert is a place without expectation.’ – Nadine Gordimer

We ask our driver, Mohammed, to take our picture. Our tent camp is in the background

Of course, after dark the sky is full of stars. Lots of meteors, too. (And aircraft flying into United Arab Emirates airports at all hours.)

Our next stop is Al Hamra. It turns out that the only reasonably-price accommodation we can find is an entire Omani house. We stay there for three days.

We have the place to ourselves, except for a young Italian woman that stays for a couple of nights.

It’s a good place to get caught up on business.

Catching up on the world

There’s a lush palm oasis across the street.

Amid the oasis are the ruins of Old Al Hamra.

These abandoned villages are a reminder of what life must have been like here before the oil money started flowing in the 1960’s.

Old Al Hamra

The main attraction is the mountain village of Misfat Al Abriyeen.

View from Misfat Al Abriyeen

Many of the buildings here are built on top of boulders and cliffs.


There are abandoned houses here, too.

Running through the village are water channels that are part of the aflaj system. We see these elsewhere in the country.

Water sign

It’s the middle of the day by the time we arrive. The temperature is in the mid-thirties Celsius.

Maria finds a shady spot

The narrow streets are fun to explore.

Misfat streets

Sight or Insight of the Day

Nothing very exciting. Just a simple observation.

For some reason, I can’t pass an animal without wanting to give it a pat.

Friend to the animals