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Old 12-17-2008, 11:35 PM   #6
Bowes OP
Oman Dirty Biker
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Sultanate of Oman
Oddometer: 214
Lap of Oman for Mary 2008 - Day 3

Day 3 – Outside of Shelim to Salahla – 550KM - December 6th 2008

Day 3 started with a beautiful sunrise – there are lots of these in Oman.

We help break camp and get riding again. Deb the hostess with mostes made sure bikers were filled with coffee and brekkie. The route from the camp site to Shelim would be all graded road as the black top had been washed out. The bikers hit the graded road with gusto and make our way rapidly to Shelim. There were some nasty washouts on the graded road so we had to remain very alert to avoid an over the handlebars experience. Well Shelim, how can I describe it, I think the best part of Shelim is the bit when you leave it. ‘Cos leaving it we were on our way to Waddi Shuwamia which is spectacular.

Shelim Restaurant.

We fuel up in Shelim and then make tracks for Waddi Shuwamia. We would stop on the way at a viewing point. I will let the pictures speak for themselves……

Me & Alan standing on what felt like the top of the world.

As we were about to leave, we were putting our helmets on. A car full of young Omani lads pulled up. They were all really excited and were asking us when we are going to jump. They thought the rucksacks were parachutes and we were a bunch of base jumpers. Off we goes on the short detour to Waddi Shuwamia, around 35Km.

Negotiating a washed out track

Alan & Me Waddi Shuwamiya

Waddi Shuwamiya was like the Grand Canyon with high cliff faces and bizarre geology. Riding up through it I was thinking to myself….It does not get better than this….riding through this stunning scenery on my bike…what more can I ask for? We left out of the Waddi for the run to Salahla where we’d be staying in the Crowne Plaza Hotel. To get there would be a mix of graded tracks and road. We’d ride through Marmul which is part of Petroleum Development of Oman’s concession area……lots and lots of nodding donkeys. Did they have any engine oil at the main garage in Marmul, naahh, we had to ride round and eventually bought some off a nice pakistani man.

After a couple of 100 kilometers on graded road and tarmac we decided to head off down a track showing on the GPS. None of us noticed the skull and cross bones denoting it as a Oman Dirty Biker Hero route. We would find this out when the road ended and we had to negotiate some tough downhill terrain. The track took us into a large Waddi. The Waddi threw at us the toughest riding challenge of the whole trip, it was rocks, boulders, water a real, real adventure!

Just behind the bike you’ll see the trail that we had ridden down. In front of the bike it sort of stopped as the whole section of the mountain face had been washed out at some point.

This proved to be the toughest days riding but for me, Alan and Jerry one of the most memorable and enjoyable days of the whole trip. At this point in the ride we were about 40km from Salahla our final destination.
Waddi Traffic

Salahla we made it!!

Beautiful Salahla

Bikes sleeping in the villa at the Crowne Plaza.

We arrived in Salahla quite late as we’d ridden the Hero’s route. Ian (Grumpy), our resolute Oman dirty biker leader had been worrying we had taken the route and was busily contingency planning for a possible helicopter extract. If we didn’t feel proud of ourselves after completing the ride route, Grumps certainly did.

As the boys were on tour we decided against an early shower and headed straight for the hotel watering hole. We were very de-hydrated after our hero ordeal so we set about filling our bodies with much need fluid. Alan & Jerry provided our Indian barman Gupta with some much needed on the job training in the etiquette of making quadruple vodkas in a pint glass with Red Bull. “Me no Vodka” Bowes stuck to re-hydration fluid out of a red tin.

Following true tour etiquette of “What goes on tour, stays on tour” I am not at liberty to divulge anything further about the rest of the evening (well could be persuaded I suppose with some Red Tins of brown water).

Day 3 Wisdom & Humor

Who thought going down this track was a good idea?
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