Hearing a few whispers of a possible music festival in the desert, it sounded intriguing and I wanted to know more. Scouring the internet for a location, a date or any hints more than just a name “Sandstock” I couldn’t find anything recent, only info from last year. Darn.
My faithful adventure friend, Rachael, assured me that she had this under control. She had heard through a friend who knows a friend. We were going, no arguments.
The great thing about Sandstock is that people only know about it through word of mouth – it is not posted on any websites, blogs or media. You’ve got to know someone who knows someone. But that is always the way in Oman. This encourages people to only invite the friends that they like and keep it feeling like a small party community.
The organisers instructions were relaxed and easy – Come along, bring some friends, have a great time and take your rubbish home after you.
The GPS coorindates of the event was sent the day before we knew that we were heading for the desert known as Wahiba Sands. Two girls, one 4 wheel drive and a ridiculous amount of stuff and off we go. Road Trip!
After passing through Ibra the desert dunes were in sight and we turned off from the main road, deflated the tyres and headed off into the land of the sand ready for an adventure.
But lets get to the important part….. No trip to the desert is complete without a camel selfie. I am clearly delighted.
Driving off road is where I handed the responsibility over to Rachael… Where I am a good city driver and have navigation skills of a homing pigeon I just hate driving off road. Luckily for me, This is where my friend excels.
In expert Bedouin style she drove us deep into the desert with complete ease. What a girl!
Crossing over a hill we got our first look of Sandstock from above. Located in the bottom of a sand bowl with high dunes on all sides it was a great location.
In the flat bottom bowl was the music stage, dancing area AND a swimming pool! The dunes on all sides gave ideal vantage points and camping oppertunites.
What struck me first was just how many people had travelled to this unpublicised event in the desert. The group was diverse bringing together all ages and backgrounds. It was amazing!
Our camp spot was chosen by fate – the car could go no further in the soft sand without being well and truly stuck. We quit while we were ahead and called that home for the night.
We made our camp, pitched our tents and clinked glasses “Here’s to a good night!”
As the sunlight was beginning to fade we climbed our way to the highest sand dune to enjoy the sunset.
Of course there isn’t much phone signal in the desert.
As the final rays of light faded in Wahiba the crowds of party goers made their way to the stage to watch the bands and to dance the night away..
The live bands were great – actually pretty awesome – and soon had the desert rocking.
This is the point where my photos get a little sparse. We made it as far as lighting the bonfire but not quite to the marshmallows and hot chocolate we had planned, there was far much more fun happening around us.
People had warned me that it gets pretty cold in the desert at night time, I thought that might just be an exaggeration but I can confirm that it was really quite cold! In my sleeping bag with an extra jumper, socks and a hat I was still cold.
As the sun rose in the desert we opened our weary eyes. The camp site was in full swing with both people who hadn’t been to bed yet and those that had and were already up and cooking breakfast.
We lit another small fire and Rachael whipped up an amazing cooked breakfast complete with a mug of coffee. Perfect!
We laughed, danced, bumped into old friends and met plenty of fun new ones. Random weekends are always the best ones and I will remember this with hilarious memories.
Be sure to listen out for the whispers of Sandstock next year, this is a fantastic event for the whole family.