I was joined in Oman by an old friend, and our first stop was Sur:
The next day we went on a day trip to Wadi Shab. Instead of swimming in the upper ponds, we ventured to explore a route that featured huge boulders which were at times difficult to scale, especially with 10 liters of water in a backpack. Compared to the Wadi, which was really rather crowded, we didn’t meet a single soul during the hike. When we came back – it was already an hour after dusk –, the boats that carry people over the initial, 400m wide and rather deep pond to the entry of the Wadi were gone. Since we wanted to travel the next morning, we tried hard not to get the backpack and spare clothes wet, and succeeded – although we had to take turns swimming part of the way around areas impossible to climb, in order to lift the backpack up a three-meter vertical slope… Generally not advisable.
(Talking about general travel advices: If there is the slightest chance there will be water – and there always is –, carry passport and phone in watertight ziplock bags, so that you have the fail-safe option of simply swimming with all your stuff.)
Then on to Nizwa, which is surrounded by seemingly infinitely stretching chains of rather small and steep but impressive mountains. Easy to fall apart (due to the iron content being washed out?), they are covered by debris and pebble of varying size which makes them fun and yet challenging to move in. Also: Ancient defense walls!