Ok, so this guy preparing my visa still couldn't send out the papers to the embassy in Muscat, and I didn't want to face spending the week-end in town. So I left fro Wadi Sahtan and Yasib, and camped out in a great place at the foot of the Jebel Shams.
The dirt road that climbs the face of Jebel Shams to reach Yasib is pretty steep indeed, I measures 500m in 2km, that's 25% average.. not for the faint of the heart for sure, but great fun.
Back in Muscat on Saturday, I was told that there was no electricity in the foreign ministry and they couldn't send the papers. Right. Maybe some of my 300$ could buy them a UPS ? finally, the next morning I got the visa in 1/2 hours and I left for a pretty boring 1000km ride across the desert down to Salalah.
As you can see, the routing is quite unnecessary.. you just need to stay awake and on the right side of the road, a pretty nice blacktop almost all the way.
And splurge at the few restaurants on the way.
I left a bit late due the the visa issue, and didn't push it to 160 km/h like all Omanis, so I camped mid-way in the sand next to an oil pump station, or something like this.
Suddenly you leave the desert, and you find.. grass!
A bit burnt out, the monsoon rain have long finished, but enough grass to feed thousands of camels and.. cows, happily mixing together. Quite a change from the rest of Oman.
I visited a shrine with a nice cemetery.
Watched the Omanis walking their camels..
.. or killing them in front of their porch, because that's what you're supposed to for Eid. But do they need to leave the guts on the side of the street ?
I found yet another dream beach to pitch my tent, 80 km or so before the Yemeni border, to make it there early enough.
The rest of the pictures are on the album