Wadi Nakhr and The Balcony
WADI NAKHR and THE BALCONY
Two days ago, just before entering the village of Al Hamra we passed the beginning of Wadi Nakhr which looked spectacular. Here we also met two Dutch women, Karen and Monique, who were just about to walk up the Wadi. They had hired a car for a three week holiday to explore Oman and were very enthusiastic about it so far.
At the “Valley Guest Villa” we met our excellent tour guide Mahmood who proposed to do a days tour of Wadi Nakhr and walk up to “The Balcony” near Omani’s highest point Jebel Shams, a hike of many hours. We left early in the day with two young German women in Mahmood’s car and were later accompanied by two young Swiss women in their hired car. First we payed a visit to Misfal al Abriyeen, an old traditional village up the mountain with terraced dates palm groves and it’s Falaj irrigation system. Then we drove up the rocky road into Wadi Nakhr to the point where we could only go further by foot. Driving up the rough tracks was promising but the ascend by foot was breathtaking. The scenery here is some of the most dramatic anywhere in Oman. We climbed up the steep mountain and then walked around the high cliffs. We came to a crystal clear pool where Michele and I had a swim. Then Mahmood took us further up the mountain where we reached a waterhole set into the mountains. The whole trip was mesmerizing.
The second part of the day we drove up Jebel Shams, parked the car and walked into the canyon along a high track. We marched at a high pace because the light was dimming and we hoped to be back before dark. We could now look down into Wadi Nakhr which was far below us and where we walked before. Mahmood took us passed old places where once people lived and to a beautifully secluded waterhole tucked away into the side of the mountain. Darkness was approaching but in the mystic light of the rising full moon we found our way back.