In our family that means Adventure! And that could mean anything from buying an ice-cream in a “dookan” (a little neighborhood store with a little bit of everything – chips, candy, cokes, batteries, bread, butter, milk, charcoal, matches, lighters, feminine hygiene products, etc) in another emirate, wadi-bashing (driving through and/or in the sand dunes), 4-wheeling into a hidden wadi (riverbed) or we ending up in another country, literally!
This long drive in January 2007 finds us in Oman by way of Al Ain and Buraimi. Leaving Buraimi we turn onto a well-traveled dirt road. It soon connects with a real, asphalt road and we are glad for the smooth road surface. We were glad for the respite from the constant vibration until our return trip home. I love the Hajjar Mountains. They’re not covered with pines and greenery like Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead in CA, but there is a majestic, powerful beauty in their volcanic, rocky appearance.
After following the road for about 30 mins we come to the conclusion that there isn’t a town, city or village in the near vicinity and decide to turn around at a new park with finishing touches being done on the parking lot and other sections that weren’t open yet. We get out to stretch our legs while Atiq has a chat with the workers. The girls and I walk around the small park and see steps going up the mountain. We want to climb, explore and take pictures. Well, I want to take pictures. We head for the steps.
About halfway up, no, it was less than that. Let’s say about a quarter of the way up there’s a small rest-stop. We stop and catch our breath.
Atiq and Afra decide to wait while me and Nadia climb up to the top. I don’t know what the elevation was, but the air was getting thinner. Maybe we were slightly out of shape? Nah, I like that it was getting steeper and higher. I count my blessings and am so thankful that it’s January and it’s cool enough that we need to wear long sleeves, sweaters or a jacket. If it was summer, we wouldn’t have even attempted the climb let alone the drive here! Imagine what we would have missed!
There are poles for railings, but they haven’t been installed yet. I secretly hope that they’ll be installing something to keep the little bodies on the path.
I take the opportunity of catching my breath and taking pictures of Nadia as she keeps going forward. As I lean against the mountain, I wonder how old it is and how long it’s been standing in this place. It just emanates strength, steadfastness and fortitude.
I’m not sure how long it takes us to reach the top but I’d guess at least 30 mins if not longer. Along the way, Nadia says, “we should have counted how many steps it is to the top.” Jokingly I ask her if we should go back and start again? No reply.
Several more stops later, the top is in sight. Nadia makes it first. I have the excuse of taking pictures not extra resting time.
The view is amazing. It’s a beautiful, clear, “winter” day. We can see for miles and miles. Just look at those mountains!! Surrounded by all this nature and in the company of one(s) I love, how could I not be grateful for my wonderful life?
We wait until we’re breathing normally and head back down. It’s easier going down and it was worth the shortness of breath going up.
Past the halfway point…
We make it back to the car, head for the border and take a long drive… home.