A (family) night in the desert
I’d like to tell you a bit about our recent trip to Oman, officially called the Sultanate of Oman. While we went there primarily to seek some sun and rest in the middle of the long English winter (read: we started with 5 nights in a family-geared sea-side resort called Zighy Bay, stunning location but must improve the family-geared aspect hence I wont speak so much about it here), we managed to have a bit of exciting family adventure in the desert, the highlight of our vacation.
It was the first time I (and we) were visiting the Arabian Peninsula (apart from a business trip to Dubai which had made me ‘allergic’ to those bling bling newly built cities….Btw, Oman/ Muscat is very different, much more authentic). When doing the maths (8hours flight time + flight cost + year end premium + 4hours time difference), Oman came up as a winner vs. all the other sunny destinations we could have gotten to from London at this time of the year. Indeed it was an easy trip, starting with my first flight aboard an A380 (amazing!!! so spacious! so silent!!).
The highlight was our New Year’s eve night in the Wahiba Sands, a part of the desert located 3 hours drive from the capital Muscat. All of us enjoyed it.
From the million-stars sky to the bedouin tent and no-electricity camp, to the camel ride on the dunes, and the sand-board ride with the children…
(photo above) This was our camp, Safari Desert Camp, reached after 30min driving off-piste in the desert, 25km from the closest town (some people drive themselves but I strongly recommend hiring a driver if you’re not used to driving on sand dunes!). A true Bedouin-style camp, owned by a Bedouin family. No swimming pool, no electricity. The real deal, but with style and (some) comfort:-)
This (photo above) was our tent, number 1. If you ever stay there, make sure to request a tent and not a hut as it’s infinitely more charming and authentic. they have about 10 tents in the camp, and maybe 5 or 6 huts made of concrete, probably more comfortable but so much less charming.
The tent was perfectly suited to a family of 4, with beautiful real beds, floors covered with colourful carpets, and tiny openings in the tent to see the stars and the moonlight.
At night, we were treated to a wonderful evening of traditional music and dance to celebrate the new year. Amalya stood up fearless, dancing under the torchlight with all the bedouin women dressed in their colourful outfits, while Marcelo fell slowly asleep on the pillows, to the beat of the drums.
…And then, we all headed to sleep at 9pm under the stars, wishing this would be the prelude to a beautiful new year.
May all your dreams come true.
Happy New Year x