Certainly one of the highlights of our trip to Oman was seeing the dunes of Wahiba Sands, nowadays officially called Sharqiya Sands. Our time allowed us unfortunately only to visit a small part of this desert rich of wildlife and native flora. The desert measures about 180km north to south and 80km west to east. based on the types of dunes found here, the desert is divided into upper and lower Wahiba. The dunes in the northern upper part are all aligned north – south and measure up to 100 metres in height and form a spectacular sight.
The area is home to the Bedouin, with many living in little villages at the edge of the desert or a semi-nomadic life in houses and tents in the desert. The traditional life is fast disappearing as modern conveniences limit the need for a nomadic existence. Their main source of income comes from goats, camels, dates and, of course, the tourists, either they earn dinars by guiding them through the desert or sell them self-woven camel items.
We were picked up by a local with a Toyota LandCruiser (the big brother of our Prado) at the petrol station along the main road between Ibra and Sur. The about 40km long drive through the valleys between the enormous sand dunes were breathtaking. We reached our camp for the night after about 45 minutes. It is a permanent camp with Bedouin tents and western bathrooms with showers and toilets. The tents are very sound-permeable.
The sunset we watched on top a dune. Unfortunately the sun disappeared behind a cloud at the horizon so that it was not as spectacular as hoped. During the evening I took advantage of being far away from any light pollution and tried to shoot some star-trail pictures. The full moon made my life a bit difficult. You need a lot of patience for this, I can tell you!But see for yourself. The first images look quite nice and I shall certainly attempt to shoot more such images if I get the chance again. I had hoped for a cloudless sky and a picturesque sunrise the next morning, but unfortunately the sky clouded over during the night. After breakfast we were brought back to the petrol station to pick up our car and continued our journey to Sur.
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