Sojourn in Salalah 15.3.2011-22.3.2011

After a difficult start in the harbour things remained trouble free and we did not have to move again. The port makes a less than desirable anchorage, it is very dirty and dusty so despite cleaning the boat it looked just the same 24 hours late . The scenic backdrop was cranes and cranes and more cranes but it made getting out al the more pleasant!
Car hire is essential as it is a 20 minute drive to town which is a rather random collection of buildings either brand new or in varying states of decay. There is a beautiful beach which is completely unspoiled apart from the rather ugly disintegrating buildings along the shore making rather a strange contrast . There are two luxury hotels the Hilton and the Crowne Plaza which are everything on would expect so we enjoyed an afternoon beside the pool at the Hilton and two excellent meals.
We visited the Mugsail blow holes along the coast where the waves blow up through holes in the rocks and there are also some amazing rock formations all very beautiful in the evening light .We also drove into the hills behind the town and came across some camel farms and lots of camels wandering across the countryside ..such extraordinary creatures.
The cocktail lounge at the Hilton gave 30 minutes internet access for each glass of wine …no more need be said and I will not disclose how many hours we used!
On the final day another big shop at the local supermarket Lulu’s where everything is available, so driven by panic of starvation at sea we ended up with yet another trolley full of food only to discover that the taxi we had taken after returning the car could not enter the port! The prospect of walking nearly half a mile with many heavy shopping bags in the middle of the day did not appeal but luckily the Omani people are very helpful and kind so organized a lift for us in a passing car.
We departed from the port before dark but as usual nothing was straightforward and just as we had all disconnected ourselves from the shore and were waiting for our port clearance numbers on the VHF radio we were all told to re-anchor while we waited! So 8 boats rafted alongside our lead boat “Alondra” could this be a record 9 boats on one anchor?
We finally left in the dark as we had arrived now on the way to Aden via Mukalla keeping close to the coast and to each other. We were now 9 boats two French additions and a Brazilian so becoming quite in international group and we have a canine crew on one of the French boats!

area of blow holes near Salalah-missed the blow!

camels on the hills behind Salalah

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