Having read the following about Al Amerat, we set off full of hope.
Sometimes it pays to go off the beaten track – and, in this case, we didn’t have to venture far to discover a unique locale where nature meets the water’s edge. Al Amerat Dam, a natural reservoir for rainwater runoff from the area’s surrounding wadis, is a gem of a hidden find. It melds the best of its natural splendour with the convenience of being relatively close to the city.
A short drive from Muscat it makes an ideal day-trip, the hilly terrain surrounding the placid waters of the dam is a great spot to lace up your hiking boots for a trek.
Our first attempt to find it led us to the public cemetery, a huge place, but we didn't linger!
Eventually we got on the right road, but when we reached the dam, we were rather mystified, it didn't quite match the description. The dam is a magnificent piece of engineering and we were admiring it when a guy approached us and told us we could drive up onto the walls and look at it from on high.
So we did, expecting to find a large amount of water...
....but there was none.
On our way back to the main road we passed an intriguing burial site, quite close to, but not part of the main cemetery.
The graves have just got numbers painted on the slates. One was open, dug, and ready for the next occupant. Are they for people who have died and no one knows who they are?
In order to get to the dam, we had driven through a huge urbanisation of new houses. It fascinates us how these huge houses are built on such relatively small plots, with little space between the house and the boundary wall. Also, how few of them plant any trees around their plot or inside it, and how they seem to be just plonked down in the middle of nowhere. There is no attempt at landscaping the surrounding area, and often no asphalted roads leading to the houses.
The same house seen from above.
Some had very smart gates.
We saw several blue water trucks delivering water to the houses, so we assumed they do not have piped mains water yet.
We stopped in Amerat for lunch. The first coffee shop had a large picture of wraps in the window, so we asked for that. He said "No", so Janey went inside to see what he did have. Inside several people were eating wraps, so Janey asked why we couldn't have one too. He just said "No" again, so we left, and drove a bit further down the road, and found a place which served us excellent wraps and chips!
Another thing that is unusual is the takeaway culture. A car drives up and stops in the road beside the restaurant, then blows the horn. A dedicated waiter runs down to the car and takes the order. If it's a good coffee shop the driver gets a small cup of coffee while he waits in his car for his order to arrive in a little plastic bag, generally blue. Judy will remember shopping like that in Aden with our Yemeni lady friend.
We drove home through another Wadi, stopping frequently for photos.
We noticed that many of the villages are situated at the feet of the mountains.
A convoy of jeeps raced past us kicking up the dust, making it impossible to see the road. So we pulled off the road and waited for them all to pass.
We arrived back at our hotel just as it was getting dark.