Our next excursion was to the second largest city in Oman, Salalah, a part city in southwestern corner of the state. Salalah has 200,000 people. Sultan Qaboos was born in Salalah.
In Salalah’s port we saw mountains of snow-white lime waiting to be shipped to all corners of the world.
Oman has huge limestone deposits, and some ores are almost pure limestone like these white cliffs along the road.
We stopped to visit Sultan Qaboos’ summer palace near Salalah. The Palace grounds are surrounded by a formidable wall.
The palace is a complex of cube-like buildings and each sparkle with white, or blue-white or pink-white hue. The whiteness contrasts with the garden greenery around the palace complex.
We drove into the Oman backcountry to visit the grave site of the Biblical sufferer and Prophet, is a major pilgrimage site in Oman.
The countryside is rocky and dry, and with sparse vegetation. Along the hill conures snake hundreds of trails made by many camel generations foraging for meager fodder.
Job’s grave is on top of a rocky hill adorned with rose bushes. Lines of pilgrims file around Jobs’ grave that is covered with green shroud. Job is revered by Christians, Jews and Muslims alike.
Oman is a country full of camels. Every few miles we encounter a heard of camels herded along by one or two or family members. All families in the country have a herd of camels. There are three lines of camel breeding: as beasts of burden, or for meat and milk, and the most lucrative breed are camels for racing. Oman is famous for its racing camels. Saudi camels are bread for long treks across the desert. Interesting law in Oman: If the camel is hit, injured, or killed by a vehicle outside of city limits, the driver is always at fault and responsible for compensation. However, if the camel is hit in the city, the herder is responsible and carries the loss.
In the Dhofar Valley, in dry, rugged rocky hills grow these crooked and ugly trees. The dried sap of these trees is valuable frankincense. Our guide demonstrates how to make a small cut in the tree and later collect the seeping sap. Anybody can go into the hills, find a tree, make their cut and mark it as own. Apparently, no one steals others sap. Different trees and different treatment of the drying sap produce various frankincense aromas.
Wide white beaches are washed by crystal clear waters of Arabian Sea.
Long boardwalks give access from the beaches and to and around the “Devil’s Rock”.
And what is this? Camel Riviera?
This photo shows the ferocity, passion, and grit of camel racing.