Fresh, clear pools of water supplied by streams flowing from the mountain high above and mature palm trees lining the valley walls, Wadi Abyad is yet another of Oman’s beautiful locations worth visiting.
This attraction has been on my list of places to see for some time now and this weekend I finally got to experience it for myself.
The tour books sell this Wadi as a great location to please the whole family – located just over an hour from Muscat it is easy to get to, clear pools to swim, places to hike and a lovely backdrop for family picnics. I was excited to check it out.
My adventure buddy was my friend Erin, her request for the day was to visit somewhere that she hadn’t been before, nothing too crazy and somewhere she could swim. Wadi Abyad ticked all of those boxes.
We set off bright and early from Muscat in an attempt to beat the heat. Realistically it made no difference what time we left, it’s currently May and the temperature is around 40 degrees every day now. Eeekkk.
Heading towards Barka and turning in land from there it wasn’t long until we arrived in the town of Abyad. Following the brown sign for “Wadi Abyad 3km”, little did we know that this would be the last sign along the way. The Sat Nav had given up and didn’t register that there were any roads here. For last 3kms we were on our own to navigate through the town and down into the mouth of the wadi.
Abyad is a really sweet and traditional little town with plenty of charm. We passed by farmers tending to their crops, a donkey chilling in the shade and children playing in the street watching in amazement at the new arrivals in the big car. The roads are narrow, very narrow. Following the maze of teeney tiny streets it was a tight squeeze to get the Pajero round some of the corners, don’t attempt to head into the village in a larger car. We were getting quite lost and confused so we stopped to ask for directions from some friendly locals who helped us on our way but I get the feeling that this happens to them frequently.
Driving down onto the rocky valley floor and chundering through the rubble we followed the track deeper and deeper into the impressive valley. These are the foothills to the famous Jebel Akhdar mountains. Despite it being early in the morning there were several people dotted around claiming the best water holes with their BBQ’s smouldering away and already taking a dip. From leaving the village we travelled about 2km into the wadi until found a tranquil place that was perfect for us.
On the journey the air conditioning inside the car had blowing at a very comfortable 18 degrees, well, that is comfortable for a Scot and Canadian anyway. Stepping out of the car into the 42 degree heat was intense, looking at the clock it was still only 9.30am. Pretty sweaty!
The intense sunshine didn’t allow for any strenuous hikes or exploration, instead I chose to lie in a cool refreshing pool of water and enjoy the tranquillity watching the fish swim by.
There hasn’t been rain for a long time now (it’s currently May) so the pools of water are reasonably shallow. Where the water flows the plants and palm trees thrive but in the parts of the wadi where water hasn’t flowed for a long time the land is cracked and dry. When the abundance of water returns after the summer I would like to visit again to see how the land changes.
After an hour in the wadi our tranquillity was cut short as a jeep packed with 8 teenage boys rolled up. Their idea of fun was leering at women and shooting fish with an air gun, not really my thing so it was time to move on and leave them to it. As we were leaving the temperature rose to a blistering 46 degrees.
From my Facebook a few people have commented on my jazzy shorts, they are a little ‘out there’ but I love them. You can buy them from Nike.
Wadi Abyad certainly was a lovely place to visit but for me it still doesn’t compare to some of the more impressive places like Wadi Shab – It depends what kind of adventure you are looking for.
If you want to visit this wadi then a 4 wheel drive is essential to get anywhere near the parts worth seeing. The stones on the wadi floor are smoothed from the rushing water and are very easy to get your car stuck. Remember to bring water and tell someone where you are going.
When visiting these beautiful locations please remember to take your trash home with you, these places deserve to stay beautiful.