Voyage of Traveler / Blog

March 20, 2009

Traveler Postcard From Oman

Filed under: Year 2: July08-June09 French Polynesia to Greece, Indian Ocean — mrlawlerjr @ 7:00 pm

Hi Everyone,
We arrived here in Salalah, Oman four days ago.  This is our first Middle Eastern country.  Nearly 100% of the country is Muslim and so there are no bars.  The only place to get a drink is at the Hilton or the Crown Plaza hotels or a private club called the Oasis. Lots of sand dunes and date palm trees.  Barbara has to have her shoulders and legs fully covered to go ashore. Many of the women here wear burkas, where you can only see their eyes. I bought a full length long sleeved Omani-style cardinal and gold beaded dress for Barbara so she would fit in and be more comfortable walking around town. And I bought myself a full length Omani-style white robe and a men’s shawl that I wrap around my head. We make quite the couple, walking through a fruit market. This country  opened its borders for tourism only a few years ago.  There are only a handful of foreigners and we are the only Americans here.

Driving down the road that connects the harbor to the town, we saw three wild camels walking along in the desert, about 100 yards from the roadside. I stopped the car and got close enough to them to smell them and got some great photos.  Pretty cool.

We enjoyed the museum, especially the nautical exhibit, and the archeological site of the 1000 year old ruins of the citadel and old Salalah, which is listed as a World Heritage Site.  Historically, this is where frankincense is grown and so this was a very important trading center for hundreds of years.

We are checking out of Salalah about noon today and headed for the notorious Gulf of Aden between the countries of Somalia and Yemen.  This is the stretch of troubled waters where all the pirate hijackings have occurred that you’ve been hearing about.  It is about 650 nautical miles to our next port, Aden, and it should take us four days.  Because of all the pirate attacks on ships in the past few years, there is now a multi-national coalition of ships, patrol boats, helicopters and planes to protect the huge shipping traffic and a few yachties like us now and then headed to or from the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. Still, the pirates from Somalia are attacking two or three ships a week, successfully capturing about half of the ships they try to seize and then hold them for ransom.  If we get kidnapped, I’ll just write them a check.

Wish us luck.

Michael and Barbara
Brian and Brandon, too


  1. Hi you guys!! I can just picture you both in your birkas( Barbara’s suspiciously like a USC cheerleader??), at your next stateside costume party!!All the best to you getting thru the canal we will all breathe alot easier when you are on the other side!! meditteraen sea I mean!!You are seeing a very exotic and timely part of the world and your adventures continue to amaze us!!armchair travelers that we are!! Well I did go to Columbia Mo. this week! HA!

    Comment by Melissa McLeod — March 21, 2009 @ 4:34 pm

  2. Ha!ha!did he try the Black Widow spiders?Someone from Kelowna (city of British Columbia , 100,000 potolapiun) wrote:Kelowna’s nature and wild animalsby Fixer 166 bb Mar 19th, 2008, 7:10 pmI enjoy the outdoors more than most.I’ve seen rattlesnakes on the canyon trail in OK mountain park as well as a bobcat on the trail to the upper lakes. I’ve also seen a bull snake on the trail around the bear creek falls.As far as black widows go I find six to a dozen on my property every summer here in beautiful glenmore.I have also heard of scorpions but have yet to see one.I may be wrong but isn’t Kelowna on the northern tip of a desert?

    Comment by Selcan — October 1, 2012 @ 10:19 am

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