Standing tall and proud above the bay is the tower of Al Sawadi.
Al Sawadi has been a destination on my to-do list for a long time, Located around 50 minutes drive from Muscat, past Barka, it is easily accessible for the masses and doesn’t take a whole day of travel. In my previous adventure post, read here, I had mentioned that we planned to visit the previous week but the tides were unfavourable – when you read this post you will understand the importance of getting the tides right.
Parking at the beach car park the plan was to wade across the bay to the near by island to visit the tower of Al Sawadi. We loaded ourselves up with the essentials – Water, Camera, Dry bag, Shoes and sun cream etc..
As we left the car park in the late afternoon it was still low tide which gave us a window of a couple of hours to cross and get back safely before the channel would be too deep for us (we are both competent swimmers but always be safe, the currents are very strong) This is a good website to check tide times, click here.
Arriving on the peaceful island we headed for the stairs and began the steep incline – Great cardio in the sunshine! I was feeling very thankful that I had remembered to bring shoes with me as these steps were incredibly hot after a whole day in the baking sun.
The climb to the top is steep and hard going in the heat but the view from the top is so worth the effort. There are plenty of resting points along the way to stop and enjoy the beautiful coastal scenery.
Unfortunately on the way to the tower we seemed to attract 4 creepy young men who followed us all the way from the beach to the top of the rock. I don’t have many pictures of the tower itself because these guys were lingering in every shot and I didn’t want to give them a reason to try and engage us further.
These situations really annoy me because I’m certain that the guys would not behave like this if we had a male friend with us, they seem to think two girls on their own means it’s fair game. They are probably too dumb to understand that it can be an intimidating experience to be followed and outnumbered on an island where there is no one else around – This can happen anywhere in the world but always be aware of your surroundings and let people know where you are going and when you will be back. Better to be safe than sorry.
Eventually, after about 45 minutes of pursuit and annoyance, they got bored and realised that these two chicks were not going to take any sh*t from them without a fight and made their retreat.
In the picture below I have marked the car park where we set off from with the yellow star to show how far and high we travelled to reach the pinnacle.
After a rest in the shade and plenty of water we started the descent back down enjoying the ocean breeze to cool us,
Wading back across the channel the water level was up to our waists, deeper at some points. Although we could stand and the ocean looked peaceful the under current was strong and could easily take you off guard.
Back on the mainland we moved to a semi quiet piece of beach, well as quiet as a coastal town in Oman gets at sunset HA Ha!, to relax and cool down in the ocean as we watched the sun set over Al Sawadi.
This is another example of a great adventure in Oman that doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
Life doesn’t have to be about expensive brunches and fancy clothes – I’m pretty happy in my shorts with a backpack climbing up a big ass rock somewhere 🙂
Any suggestions of places I should explore next?