Al `Ayn Travel Blog

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Notice the child that just popped his head out from inside the mountain spring.
When invited to camp with Emarati friends in Oman, I jumped at the chance.  High end camping involved having an awning over our heads and sleeping on the ground.  It's an experience I hope to repeat soon.  We were over 7000 feet up in the Green Mountains of Oman.  The 20 degree Celsius drop as we climbed the mountain was a welcome relief. 
You MUST have 4 wheel drive to make this trip.  The guard at the bottom of the mountain records your vehicle type, license plate, number of and nationality of passengers in addition to verifying you're 4X4 equipped.   Should your vehicle decide to take a short cut to the bottom (ie, over the side), they want to know which embassies to contact. 
We arrived at night which provided a nice moon kissed view of the terrain.
Fresh water spring in Oman.
  What the moon showed was quite different than the view during our decent several days later.  In spots there are no guard rails and the drops are sudden death.  Take it SLOW up and down. 
I didn't see a single camper (trailer) during our trip.  They have them here but the climb is incredibly steep and I would expect most vehicles to quickly overheat at the attempt.  This is truly a getting back to nature trip.
We enjoyed Emarati coffee and tea with a roaring camp fire.  There are no designated camping areas.  If you see a suitable area, engage the four wheel drive and exit the road to set up camp. 
We chose a spot which others also knew of.  Our camp sites were hundreds of meters apart and we didn't meet the others.
  You wave on the way in and way out to the other campers but respect their space while you're there.  Bringing my American camping experience, we left with more than we came with.  Clean up after yourself and those before you is my mantra when camping. 
The nearest town has a bakery, few stores and a hotel should you experience poor weather.  The restaurant located just inside town has rice based meals all day long for under $1 to $3.   Service was good.  Tip half the cost of the meal and they'll be waiting anxiously for your return. 
Al Ayn (not to be confused with Al Ain, UAE) is a must if you are anywhere close to the area.  Even from Dubai, you could make it there and back in a full day.  The locals still talk of Lady Di (Lady Diana of the U.
Al Ayn, Oman.
K.) who frequented the village with the Sultan of Oman.  One of his palaces is located within a couple of kilometers of our camp site.  It (Al Ayn) is built into the side of the mountain and has natural springs providing the water for the citizens.  Every few hours a gentleman shifts the rock blockade from one irrigation route to the other, providing water to the residents of the village.  From a separate spring, water flows from behind the cliff wall and fills a pool which the local children play in. 
During your travels in this area, you may see men or children alongside the road.  Slow down and see if they are selling something to help sustain them.  Older gentlemen were selling local fruit and children in towns were selling "rose water".  It appears to be local spring water filtered through indigenous flowers.  The sell it in recapped bottles.  Buy it to help the children but I honestly didn't drink it. 
I've lost the coordinates to the camp site.  Approximately 10 KMs north of Al Ayn, Oman. 

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Notice the child that just popped …
Notice the child that just popped…
Fresh water spring in Oman.
Fresh water spring in Oman.
Al Ayn, Oman.
Al Ayn, Oman.
Please respect the village and its…
Please respect the village and it…
Emirati friends leading the way th…
Emirati friends leading the way t…
Spring fed pool in Al Ayn, Oman.
Spring fed pool in Al Ayn, Oman.
Irrigation path in village of Al A…
Irrigation path in village of Al …
Sunset from campsite near Al Ayn, …
Sunset from campsite near Al Ayn,…
Al Ayn, Oman
Al Ayn, Oman
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Al `Ayn
photo by: tzrtwr