I love exploring the beauty of Oman. One day one of my couchsurfers invited me to climb Jabal Shams. Without second thoughts, I decided to go with my buddy. For sure, it would be another great adventure for me – trekking to the highest mountain in Oman, Jabal Shams!
Jabal Shams is called the Mountain of the Sun and the Grand Canyon in Arab region. Considering the weather now in Oman, it is a great escape from heat and humidity. Temperature in Jabal Shams in daytime is around 30 degrees Celsius and 15-19 degrees Celsius night time, so who wouldn’t want to go there?!
We started our day so early, left Nizwa (where my place is) by hitch hiking as early as 6.00 am. Not much cars passed by that time so we waited for like 15-20 minutes before we finally found a car which was on the same way. The Omani dropped us to Bahla, and then from Bahla we took another car going to Al Hamra. From Al Hamra, again we hitched a car but it wasn’t that hard to hitch by the time. But from Al Gool , it took us another 20 minutes until finally we found a car going to Al Kathaym where the trekking starting point was. All in all we took 5 cars to reach Al Kaythaym and all by means of hitchhiking! It was our plan to do hitchhiking all throughout the travel to Jabal Shams from Nizwa proper. I must say someone should be really patient to wait if you plan to go by hitchhiking! We reached Jabal Shams before 10:00 am!
There are 2 different paths of trekking in Jabal Shams, either you can take W4 or W6 route on which you are comfortable doing so. W6 is a 2-3 hours trek and W4 around 8-9hours. You can get further information about trekking route on Oman Tourism website. My buddy encouraged me to take the W4.We have read some blogs that it wasn’t that hard to take the W4 so with some encouragement coming from all the blogs we have read, we decided to take the longer one.
We were so excited then, that we didn’t notice we lost the marks to guide us on our way up. Yes, there are stony markers for every like 2-3 meters yet we got lost and have to return back to where we all started. Finally at around 11:00 am, we conditioned ourselves not to miss any single sign going. He was walking before me. For me W4 wasn’t an easy path. Coming from a family without trekking experience, was indeed hard for me! It was really a long rocky trek with some steep cliff. I remembered resting for how many times to eat and drink but the view was really stunning. At 3:30 pm (almost 4-5 hours of walking), I decided to stay put on the position I am standing. I took rest and just enjoyed the fascinating view of the canyon. My buddy left and decided to climb till Qarn Al Ghamaydh.On that moment, I felt really tired and exhausted so i decided to wait for him on the middle of the mountain.
I didn’t force myself to climb till Qarn Al Ghamaydh. For a beginner, climbing the mountain would take a long walk for me.I just decided to stay, take a nap, eat and view the canyon on the side. “Oh what a peaceful place it was!” It was past 6:30 pm and my buddy had not come back yet, I was getting bit worried because it will be hard for us to go down the mountain when it’s dark. Finally he arrived at 6:40 pm. Without any rest, we went down off the mountain. But yes we got lost again, the problem was we can’t see the sign and the rocks were huge! We can’t really see the path we’re going so we’ve been so careful. We reached 10:00 pm on the road and no cars going down the mountain!
There were no houses near the road, the only available place to stay was a hotel. We got in to the hotel and asked if it is still possible to go down the mountain. The staff told us it is difficult to find a cab by that time. He was right! We tried to wait outside the hotel and there were no single car that passed by on that area. From that moment, I knew we will be stuck in the mountain. We were not prepared to camp out nor stay in a hotel. We didn’t bring enough money with us. It wasn’t even enough to stay in the hotel! With all the guts, I asked the manager if we could stay in the restaurant and spend the night there until sunrise will come. We were glad and surprised the manager gave us a place to stay with 2 beds and blankets for free! They even gave us foods for free too! Thanks to these Good Samaritan in the mountain. We are just so lucky! People with good heart still exist in this world!
Got home the next day by hitchhiking again. What an unforgettable experience I had! If you plan to visit Oman, take a trip with Agoda.com
This is indeed a great experience, an awesome adventure worth sharing! What is your ultimate getaway adventure experience? Share on the comments below.