After our rather adventurous start into what was meant to be a quite and calm weekend getaway, we crawled out of our tent the next day into bright sunshine and saw what we hadn't seen when we had arrived at dusk the day before. Pure white sand stretching out for miles along the crystal blue sea. What makes this place so special and what consolidates it as our favourite place to be is that on the left side you have the Indian Ocean and then if you look right you are camped along side a huge lagoon that is home to all sorts of birds including flamingos. We pretty much had paradise to ourselves.
After a leisurely breakfast at our rickety camping table that still stands fairly solid considering we bought it in the 90's, we waited for the low tide. As you can see in the pictures once the tide retreated a sandbank popped out. It means you can technically walk miles into the sea but only ever be in water that is midway up to your leg. I'm going to be honest, I love the sea but I'm terrified of what lives in it. As I was blissfully wading through the water looking for corals my dad told me to watch out for stingrays. Of course the minute you're warned of something you start stepping more cautiously. Before dad's wise words I was recklessly putting my feet down without paying any attention to what I was stepping on. But as my life will have it, two minutes after my dad warned me, I put my foot down and stepped on something squishy. Yes a stingray. Quite a big one. I screamed and screamed but thankfully I only scared the stingray and he swam away speedily and I didn't get stung by his long tail (it's not as funny as it sounds remember Steve Irwin the Crocodile Hunter?). I got out of the water pronto and decided that tanning on the beach was probably the safest option.
We whiled the rest of the afternoon away, I finally took the time out to do some reading. I started working my way through a modern retelling of Austen's Sense & Sensibility (mixed feelings so far) but then dad, my brother and I set off to do some off road driving. I don't actually have my licence yet but I've gone driving with my dad before. Driving off road was so much fun and a great experience, especially in a massive 4x4. Dad kept a firm eye on my steering and made sure I didn't hit the break when I meant to accelerate. Successful driving lesson. Then before the sun started to set I made the most of the tide coming back in to collect some beautiful shells to take back to Cardiff with me. They are such beautiful reminders and souvenirs, I will miss Oman so much when I go back to the cold and wet in Wales. Having the shells I found scattered around my flat will bring a smile to my face and will always remind me of this crazy trip! I was so impressed with how many beautiful big shells I found. I have so many I'm considering giving some away as gifts.
This time when the sun set we were all prepared. The limes were cut, the gin was chilled and we took our camping chairs right up to the edge of the beach and sat down with our drinks waiting for the main event. It was beautiful. A little note, if you look closely in the last photo you can see a tiny white ball in the sky - that's Venus. The sky once you're away from all the light pollution in the city, is amazing. Once the sun is gone and the stars come out it's just breath taking. You forget how many stars come out, it looks like fairy dust scattered across the skies and they shine so bright. We were really spoilt.