So 21 of us decided it was high time in the high city and needed to get out. After a couple of months of planning & coordination, we managed to decide on Ras Al Jinz turtle reserve in Sur, Oman.
I don’t think any of us cared about squeezing in a 1500 km road trip into a weekend. It had to be done.
We headed out on Thursday after work, around 7 PM. We drove on to Sharjah-Kalba road, and after 2 – 3 wrong moves, successfully reached the Hatta border crossing. We reached here by 11 PM and there was not too much of a wait at the immigration. 21 of us can vouch that it is way more sensible to have your Visa done earlier at the consulate, than take a risk at the border. Better not to take much of a risk! Another tip is to download the Here App. Brilliant as it provides an Offline map – all you need to do is download the country map while you can.
Stayed over at Sohar – Atlas Hotel Apartments
We decided to stop over the night at Sohar and chose Atlas Hotel Apartments. The place was slightly difficult to find at midnight but a good samaritan escorted us to the door step! The rooms are large, clean and well kept. The breakfast was a bit of a let down, but maybe that’s because so many of us landed up going all together. But I would still recommend this place to anyone who wishes to stay over.
Stop over at Muscat – Muscat City Centre, in not so centre of the city
We decided to drive on towards Sur and stopped over at Muscat for lunch. Very basic & quick at the easily accessible Muscat City Centre which is easily spotted on the highway.
2 routes from here : Take the Muscat expressway which is way faster (might save you about 10 minutes), unless you want to enjoy a bit of Muscat via Sultan Qaboos road.
Stay over at Sur – Resort Sur Beach holiday
We stayed at this place which is itself about an hour away from the Turtle reserve. The hotel has a lovely view and overlooks the beach. Not the best beach though, it’s filthy and not very pleasant. But the view of the Gulf of Oman is breathtaking, especially very early in the morning.
Ras Al Jinz turtle reserve
We finally make it to the Turtle reserve well in time for our allocated time of 9 PM. We were a fairly large group but had to unfortunately wait till almost 11 PM before we were called in. Apparently you have to register in advance but the slots are allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis. Priority is given to those staying over at Ras Al Jinz. The experience itself lasted about 45 minutes and was mind blowing. The guide drove us to the beach and in pitch darkness, walked us through the turtles in various stages – laying eggs, covering up, and we were lucky to spot freshly hatched baby turtles appear from the sand and wiggle their way towards the water. This is an exhilarating experience I will cherish for a long time. 21 happy people returned back well after midnight.
1 piece of advise here: Please fill up your tanks before you head to the reserve as there are no petrol pumps in at least a 30 km radius!
Sink hole – Hawiyat Najm Park
We headed back to Dubai after a relaxed breakfast right opposite the hotel with some yummy Omani egg & chips sandwich & Zafrani Chai – both must trys. We stopped over at the Sink hole which is in between Sur & Muscat. Oh boy! I will never be able to truly express how excited 21 of us 20 something’s were in the 1 hour we spent here. The view is breathtaking and something like I’ve only imagined in some super exotic location in a movie! The picture here, clicked on my phone, is exactly how the place looks. Brilliant is an understatement to describe how excited I was. The little fish are don’t trouble you much but are quite an exciting addition the the water. The water bed is pokey & slippery but a pregnant friend entered the water so I’m sure you can as well!
You can swim to the end of the hole and climb up and JUMP! The first time in my life I have ever jumped into water. What a fun!!!!
I’d like to add that fuel prices are 50 % cheaper in Oman than in UAE so you know where to put your monies!
Like every other place, I wish I could have stayed just another day to explore Oman. But hey, hugsband says we can always go back! <span class="wp-smiley wp-emoji wp-emoji-heart" title="<3