I was initially lost in a narrow passage between houses, but I finally found the way to the lighthouse.
I didn’t expect that the guard would allow me to go inside the lighthouse, very nice of him. I’ve read from internet that people found the door locked most of the time.
On the way back to the hotel, I found that if I would have visited Ayjah Castle first, it would be easier for me to find the road leading to the lighthouse.
After seeing some photos of Ayjah on google, I promised myself I would not miss this place for photography. So I woke up at 4.30am, eventhough we had a hectic night at Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve, and just reached the hotel at around 1.00am.
Ayjah area, where the bridge, the watchtower, and the lighthouse are located, is 6km away from the hotel. My main point of view is the highest watchtower located behind Ayjah Plaza Hotel. I parked my car in front of a multipurpose hall building next to Ayjah Plaza Hotel, then walked up toward the watchtower.
It was still dark at around 5.30am, so I just took one flat comfortable spot under the watchtower and set up the tripod and camera.
Turtle Reserve is our main destination. We had to drive around 40km from Sur, the city where we stayed, to Ras Al Jinz.
When we reached the reserve, it was full of people, I guess it was due to the long weekend in UAE and Oman. Our reservation for turtle watching was not considered at all, it really was a first-come-first-served basis. However, they managed it very well. We were divided into 12-13 groups, then the groups were called one by one to do the payment.
From the reservation to the beach is about 2km, we started walking toward the beach at 10pm. It was luckily full moon time, so the moonlight really helped us, since only the guide is allowed to carry a flash light.
December is actually not the season for the turtles laying their eggs on the shore. But luckily, we found 3 turtles. The first one was on the way returning to the sea, the second one was calmly digging the sand, and the last one was a baby turtle trying to get to sea.
Our first stop in Muscat was Muttrah. Once we got there, first thing was to find a parking spot in this busy area. Then, getting a sit in the cafetaria next to the souq is the key to enjoy the ambience.
Our old friend came to Muttrah to meet us, I appreciate it so much, barokallah fii mas Budi and teh Ice.
In the early morning, we climbed one of the watch tower in Muttrah to get a broader view of the surrounding.
This time, we headed to emirate of Fujairah for camping. The camping site is in a beach in al-Aqah region. We stopped by at Friday Market in Masafi region to take a sip of fresh coconut water and some bites of sweet corn.
al-Aqah Beach Camping
We reached there around 4pm, and there were already lots of campers on the beach side. We drove a little, almost reaching the end of the beach, and found some space for our group to build our tents.Read More»
Trekking the W6 route of Jebel Shams
Driving south from Jebel Shams resort, we will see Al Khitaym village. It is the starting point of W6 trekking route. The destination of the trek is the old abandoned village. Total distance is nearly 4 kilometers. And if we go further through a challenging track, we will find a pool of water.
Along the way, there are 2 shelters and 2 wooden benches where we can take some rest and enjoy the view.
Driving from Al-Hamra Town to Jebel Shams is quite an experience. Half of the track is paved road, and the other half is dirt road. We will find steep incline/decline and also sharp turn. Al-Hamra is the last town before going up to Jebel Shams.
Road to Jebel Shams – Part 1
Road to Jebel Shams – Part 2
Jebel Shams Resort
Jebel Shams Resort is located at the end of road near the canyon. In my opinion, it is best to stay in the Arabic Tent. There are 3 single beds in the tent, but we can ask for extra mattress if there is additional person. Each Arabic Tents is now equipped with a toilet and shower. The Arabic Tent has a large backyard, where we can do barbeque and burn firewood.Read More»
Road to Shorfet Al-Alamin in Al-Hamra Town, Oman
Driving from Al-Hamra town to Shorfet Al-Alamin hotel, our starting point was Shell gas station in the town.
Activity around Shorfet Al-Alamin
- After checking in, we walked around the hotel, just to feel the different atmosphere
- We opted not to have dinner in the hotel, since we’ve planned to do barbeque
- In the early morning, we trekked a little bit to find the perfect spot for enjoying the sunrise
Rencana awalnya kami mau sholat jum’at di Masjidil Haram, walaupun jadwal flight kembali ke Abu Dhabi agak mepet, jam 5 sore. Tapi sepertinya tidak memungkinkan, taksi yang saya kontak semenjak di Abu Dhabi hanya bisa jemput jam 3 sore. Akhirnya kita putuskan untuk berangkat lebih awal ke Jeddah. Berdasarkan informasi dari bellboy hotel, kita dapat taksi untuk berangkat jam 10 pagi, dengan singgah di masjid Arrahmah untuk sholat jum’at.
Kita sewa 2 taksi, untuk keluarga saya dan keluarga pak Arief. Sepertiga perjalanan, supir yang membawa keluarga pak Arief mengajak berhenti di rest area untuk ke toilet. Sekeluar dari toilet, pak supir tampak kesakitan sambil pegang perut. Dia tidak bisa buang air kecil, karena sepertinya ada gangguan di ginjalnya. Terpaksa kita telpon emergency ambulance untuk bawa dia ke hospital.
Supir yang membawa keluarga saya mengajak kita melanjutkan perjalanan, dan mempersilahkan pak Arief untuk menyupiri sendiri mobil yang disewa. Singkat cerita, sesampai di kota Jeddah, kita diantar ke sebuah masjid yang saya pikir masjid Arrahmah. Tapi ternyata bukan, ketika pak Arief lihat di GPS. Lalu kita putuskan untuk tetap cari masjid Arrahmah, meskipun agak bimbang karena saat itu sekitar 20 menit menjelang sholat jum’at. Tapi alhamdulillah sampai juga di masjid Arrahmah pas saat adzan.
Selesai sholat, sempat terpikir untuk lanjut makan siang di airport, tapi pak Arief tau dekat masjid ada rumah makan Indonesia. Dengan bekal GPS pak Arief, kita menemukan rumah makan tersebut.
Saat lihat-lihat menu, istri saya bisik-bisik, “yang, itu Wanda dan suaminya bukan ya…” Saya coba hampiri dan langsung menyapa, “Assalamu’alaykum, kang Tata… saya Agung, kita dulu pernah satu perusahaan di Malaysia”. Beliau menjawab, “Wa’alaykum salam, mas Agung, Idi Agung ya…” Sementara istri saya langsung menghampiri mbak Wanda yang duduk di sudut lain. Mereka langsung saling mengenal karena memang kuliah di kampus dan jurusan yang sama.
Subhanallah, rencana Allah yang Maha Kuasa memang begitu indah. Saat di Mekkah, istri saya sempat berguman, “Wanda sekarang lagi dimana ya…” Saya bilang, “Sekiranya ada kesempatan di Jeddah, saya bisa coba cari kontaknya”. Walhamdulillah, saat di Jeddah dalam waktu yg sangat terbatas kita dipertemukan.Read More»