With a cry of relief and a big swing I threw my hijab overboard, together with that grain of salt. Then, I rapidly took off my long, black dress.
The boat from Qeshm island (Iran) brought me to the Musandam peninsula. A new country, new people, new atmosphere and new energy. Welcome in #Oman
After what happened in Iran, I became afraid of wildcamping. Luckily I could stay with this sweet lady and a bunch of very enthusiastic, happy children #Oman
Monday, January 16, 9.30 am.
I sat on the boat from Qeshm Island, in the South of Iran, to Khasab, a lively harbor 55 kilometers further, in the North of Oman, on the Musandam peninsula.
Day by day I was trying to become more confident on the bike. Quite fast I got to know the gradients and the beauty of Oman’s mountains. Khor an Najd is the only accessible khor (inlet) by car/bike on Musandam peninsula. The others are only reachable by boat, which is way too expensive for my tiny budget #Oman
Lots of tourists from the Emirates came over to Oman’s beautiful peninsula for camping or sailing along the stunning Khors #Oman
Oman is a country where 46% of the population is expat. Among them you find a lot of Indian, Pakistani and Bengali people. They earn very little money and send it to their families in their homeland. No money for a car, instead lots of them cycle this typical ‘Atlas’ bicycle #Oman
My introduction with Oman’s palmtrees #Oman
Relieved, feeling lighter and better…
A boat where the atmosphere instantly turned 180 degrees, together with the direction I was going. Where English was understood. Where I met a couple of Romanian cyclists and where we exchanged our experiences with Iran, 180 degrees different from one another.
Taking my first dirt road again wasn’t easy. But you can only conquer fear by facing it #Oman
I gave myself the time to adapt to the road again and started with the easy coastal road towards Muscat, Oman’s capital. #Oman
Just hanging around the boats or sitting and watching the pursuits of fishermen was part of my daily menu #Oman
I talked to lonely fishermen #Oman
And helped cleaning the fishnets #Oman
Football goals in every tiny village #Oman
The first few days on the peninsula I was feeling insecure, hesitant and above all anxious. I had to unlearn constantly looking behind me on the bike and feeling unsafe while camping. Preferably as soon as possible.
The children I met were the best medicine. Always enthusiastic… laughing, waving, yelling or shouting ‘I love you, I love you, I love you’. Just what I needed 😉 #Oman
Just smile #Oman
A few days later another boat brought me to Shinas, to the ‘mainland’ of Oman. I could start my ride along the coast to Muscat, Oman’s capital.
Dozens of coastal villages I crossed were razed. Unfortunately they’re building a new road (with lots of space for big hotels) and the villagers need to move kilometers away from the sea side. The government is constructing quarters with similar heartless houses side by side. A tiny detail: they’re not finished yet. So locals get money to stay in a hotel for the time being… #Oman
Every day around 5 pm young and old started playing football #Oman
When Sultan Qaboos took power in 1970, he opened up the country. Many things changed. Increased spending on health, education and welfare was one of them. #Oman
Never saw so many sofa’s on my trip so far, and especially not on the beach. Perfect place to have a break or picnic #Oman
No explosion risk for my odometer, no no! Distances per day didn’t reach more than 55 kilometers.
‘Time Trien, give yourself time, it will come…’
Yay, a little bit inland it felt exotic #Oman
I was super excited when riding along banana plantations #Oman
Some scrap on four wheels was used to ride into the sea, to pull and push fishing boats #Oman
Daring to stop for taking a picture, for having a picnic, for talking with that lonely fisherman who is restoring his fishnet.
Daring to take that first dirt road and daring to trust people who offer a night’s stay.
I became more secure, ‘defrosted’ and could gradually enjoy again. Even more, I could laugh, wave and melt while children chanted ‘I love you, I love you’. Looking behind me became past tense and I mainly looked forward. Not only towards Muscat but to the following 15.000 kilometers.
More than ever I believe in it: ‘You can only conquer fear by facing it!’.
No idea how many forts Oman counts. But I do know they’re always eye candy #Oman
A local crazy football team #Oman
Love and peace #Oman
Thanks a lot Jan and your big red pencil!