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Holy Cross-Roads Excursion Part - 2

By Farhad Nibir, a participant of this one of a kind academic excursion


According to the itinerary, on this day we will be heading towards the Omani Desert, Wahiba Sands. I woke up at the very last moment, so I had to make a cheese sandwich and hop on the car to start the day. It was a pretty scenic drive to Wadi Shab.

On the third day we started early in the morning since we had to cover a total distance of 370km or thereabout. Our first stop was at the famous Wadi Shab, for hiking and swimming. We hiked through the wadi, swam to the waterfall, came back and head back towards our car.

After that, we went to a Bengali restaurant, situated in a nearby town named Tiwi, for lunch. We, being a Bangladeshi, never imagined that we will be fortunate enough to eat Bangladeshi food - Chicken Biriyani, Porota, Daal (Lentils), Shobji (vegetables), Kala Bhuna (traditional beef recipe), Ruhi Fish - in abroad, with the Arabian Sea in sight. And considering the surrounding, we ate till our heart’s content.

After a heavy lunch, we started for our final destination for the day, the Wahiba Desert, another 179km drive from Tiwi. Hiking, swimming, and heavy lunch made all of us very tired and sleepy. Many of us slept during this drive.

We arrived at Al Wasil, nearest village to the Wahiba Desert, at around 3:30pm. I woke up with Wahiba Desert in my sight and was really amazed to see the desert for the very first time. Drive through the desert was very bumpy yet amazing. We arrived at our desert resort, Sama Al Wasil Desert Camp, at around 3:50pm. We checked-in to our room and went to the lobby for a class, since it was an academic excursion. In the class we had the opportunity to know our friends from University of Notre Dame, Indiana more and better. After that we went up the sand dune to experience the sunset in the middle of nowhere.

That evening was something which I never imagined. The sunset was mesmerizing, as well as it was a full moon night in the desert. Me, Afifa, Salim bhai and Tasnim sat on the dune and talked for a long time until it was dark. Whilst talking I just looked up at the sky unknowingly and was astounded to see so many stars in the sky. We all were astonished, rejoiced the moment and came down to have dinner. After dinner, we had a campfire planned in the resort. We started singing all the Bengali song we knew till midnight and raptured the only night we spent in the desert. All the staff of the resort were Bangladeshis, who haven’t seen a single Bengali in last 6-8years, enjoyed our singing till they closed their service for the night.

The next morning, after breakfast, we had to start for Muscat again, with a short stop at Nizwa. We started at about 9:00AM from the desert for Nizwa. We visited Al Qala’a Mosque in Nizwa, Nizwa Souq, and Nizwa Fort. We bought some souvenirs from the Nizwa Souq as well as a lot of dates since Ramadan is knocking on the door from the Date Souq in Nizwa. Then we had lunch at a local restaurant and head back towards Muscat with some amazingly scenic views of the mountains.

About Al Amana Centre:

Al Amana Centre is an inter-faith dialogue centre, established in 2013 in Muscat, Oman. They host various groups for inter-faith dialogues from all over the world. We were there for their “Inter-cultural Exchange Program”. They also have some other programs. For more details check out their website.

Al Amana Website:

An Architectural Marvel (Visiting the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque) -

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