I laid out my new sleeping bag on the thick mat under the stars. It was muggy outside but I still got into the down sleeping bag else I felt too exposed. I turned off my head lamp and said goodnight to my fellow travelers going through the same ritual nearby. As I lay there, I was still wondering if my decision to sleep outside of the tent was a sound one, but I tried to calm my worries of scorpions and other creepy, crawly things by instead focusing on the stars above me. An almost unreal twinkle of stars in various galaxies was laid out in front of me in spectacular fashion. What Oman lacks in trees, it makes up for in stargazing.

A day ago, when I arrived in Oman in the wee morning hours I watched the sun come up and light up the capital city of Muscat, showing me my first glimpse of the color palette that would grace my vision for the next 9 days – white, tan, cream & brown. It was as if the other colors were forbidden from Oman – the color red was most certainly turned away at the border. Even the cars zipping around the modern capital city of Muscat followed the color pattern.

My first day in Oman was packed with new experiences – meeting my new travel partners and my Exodus group leaders Rob, Khalfan, and Zahir was only the beginning. Rob briefed us on the hiking itinerary and any cultural rules we needed to know as we toured around Muscat the first morning. After a few key tourist stops, we dove right into the rough stuff – we started hiking. Rob led us on a short hike as Rob called it through a wadi (valley) in Muscat. It was challenging for my body and mind to adjust to the heat and the terrain. The wadi hike was short but challenging with lots of ups and downs and rock scramble type hiking. The sun beat down me and I looked around for shady shelter – there was none. This was the beginning of my hiking holiday without trees.

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  • Sherry Ott

    What is Ottsworld? It’s my journey! I quit my corporate IT job 2 years ago and said goodbye to blackberries, meetings and New Y…

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