24 July 2024

We’re on the way to Salalah now, the capital city of southern Oman’s Dhofar province. It’s an 850km journey and we stop first, this evening, for a bushcamp.

Salalah is known for its banana plantations, Arabian Sea beaches and waters teeming with sea life. The Khareef, an annual monsoon, transforms the desert terrain into a lush, green landscape and creates seasonal waterfalls. The Frankincense Land Museum, part of the Al Balid Archaeological Site, recounts the city’s maritime history and role in the spice trade. We will visit most of these places.

The landscape is bleak and bare, just what I thought the desert would be like. We were stopped earlier by a military and police patrol. They all looked cute as buttons in their well fitting uniforms. They were friendly and efficient.

There is some lurgy doing the rounds and nearly everyone in the group is sniffling, coughing and sneezing. A few are unwell. I even got it! I managed to not catch Covid19, or even a cold, since my return from Africa 32 months ago. I have a congested cough, a slight temperature and producing copious amounts of snot. Anyway, apart from that, I’m grand.

I hope it’s not MERS, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome which is fatal in up to 40% of cases, according to CDC in Atlanta US. I’ll monitor my symptoms.

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