Oman. Desert villages, desert roads, desert deserts.
01 November 2016

Oman. Desert villages, desert roads, desert deserts.

“In Oman we will travel along the coast, to mitigate heat with frequent swims.”
The sea is a precious treasure in Oman, but it is used with different aims as compared to the trivial ones we had in mind.
The result is that there was absolutely no shade at the beach and getting to the water edge with our bikes was so hard that it was not worth it.
Cycling through the desert villages, the desert roads, the desert deserts, we often wondered whether the country also had a female population, but above all if somebody worked there.
We got an answer to the first question by looking at beautiful groups of women sitting in the shade under the trees.
We stopped looking for an answer to the second question because, since we are those who are travelling by bike for a year, we felt we were not in a position to judge.
By adding to the equation the fact that all men were elegantly wrapped up into comfortable white and same-looking white tunics, you can maybe find the secret of a stress-free life.
Oman is one of the safest countries in the world in terms of crime, and this translates into a paradise for camping cyclotourists.
Sohar, Oman.
We mount our tent in a nice park, separated from the beach by a small seafront.
At sunset, it starts teeming with people, exponentially increasing in number as temperature starts going down.
At 22.30, the park is still in full social activity but, after a shower in the public bathrooms, we decide to get in our tent, overestimating its soundproof qualities.
At 22.35 Chiara is sleeping like a baby.
At 1.30, finally, everyone has left, the blinding lights illuminating the area are turned off and, still at a somehow reasonable time, I fall asleep with the sound of the sea.
At 1.35, the dogs arrive: they were intimidated by the people and lights, and now they once again are the only owners of the park.
They howl, they bark, they fight.
They slowly surround the tent, I can hear their threatening growling getting closer.
The siege lasts a couple of hours; they never actually attack, but one of them scornfully dares to mark the “tent territory” with a pee.
At 4, I am trying to unload the adrenaline caused by dogs.
At 5, the prayers from the mosque speakers start at full volume.
We have mounted the tent under the minaret.
At 6, the alarm clock rings.
Chiara, unperturbed until then, with a nice smile on her lips after almost 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep, wishes me a good morning before a long day on our saddles.
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