“Are you going to hitchhike in Oman? Are you insane? This is not Europe, it is dangerous.” We have received reaction like this from our families when we told them what we are planning to do. There were even worse reactions when we told them we are going to do this with a person who we barely know. We saw each other only like 20 minutes when we met for coffee and we decided to turn our plan to reality together.
It is not actually easy to find a person who like the same travel style as you do and who is crazy enough to do it with you. Marek wrote a post on one social media that he looks for someone who will join him on a trip in the beginning of August. We started conversation immediately and kind of started planning. As we both work we didn’t have much time to meet personally just that one fast coffee and here we go.
It is Monday 29 October and we met early morning in the train to the Prague (Czech capital), second time we actually see each other, from where our trip has started. Everything has been so fast since then. Airport in Prague, airplane to Dubai. Dubai international airport. There is no way back.
We stayed in Dubai one day and after that we finally started. We hitchhike from Dubai to Abu Dhabi then to Al Ain and here we are – standing at the Oman/UEA borders and preparing our passports hoping that we will pass with no problems.
We immediately became an attraction.
“Where are you going?” The border officer asked us. We started to explain our plan to him about reaching Salalah and get back to Dubai.
“Where is your car?” he interrupted us.
“We don’t have any, we are travelling by hitchhiking.” We try to explain and show the thumb up. Bus as we can see he has no idea what does it means.
“Salalah is really far! More than 1000 km. You can’t walk that far. I have a camel at home. If you wait I will give it to you. We smiled and with thanks we had to refuse and continue to another check point. And again. We are here like aliens as we walk and we have our wardrobe, our home and beds on our shoulders. We passed an Omani check point with the same uplift as we did on the UEA side. Our firs omani hitchhiking was really fast. Firs driver who was passing borders after us took us. He didn’t speak English almost at all but he invited us to his home. We really need to used to that we are an attraction for the locals as well to their sincere goodness and dedication.
We have met with the kindness of local people on the daily bases on our trip. One example for all from our way to Maskat. We have started to hitchhike around 50 km in front of Maskat on the highway and in a while a car stopped. There was sitting a man who gave us a ride to a Kabul mosque. He asked us about our plans during the ride and how long we will be in the mosque. He offer us that when we will be finished in the mosque he can show us the city and around. We are really surprised but as we are still not used to their hospitality we refuse with smile and thanks. One fast look back to leaving car and we are going to find an entrance. After some time in the mosque our phone rang. The last driver was calling and asking if we are done there that he is waiting outside and he is ready to give us another ride. We have spent who day together, we bought us lunch and snacks but the most important he showed us all amazing places in Muscat which we wouldn’t find without him for sure.
We slept in the tent for most of our time. It was really difficult sometimes. Enormous hot, dust by the road and the impossibility of the shower was not a nice combination. We appreciated the immense hospitality of the local people. Hospitality as big as we have not known from Europe. For Omani, however, it is a common thing. Once we decided to sleep on the beach as many days before we went off the main road and by passing the village and then on car stopped. The driver started to talk to us with his little English. After some small talk he offered us to stay at his home for a night. As we were really tired and the idea that we don’t need to look for place to sleep for one night was really tempting we have accepted. It was one of the best decisions in Oman. We found ourselves in beautiful room with delicious food and with a shower. Our host didn’t speak English really well but it was no problem as he had a friend to whom he called. So I was speaking to the phone and phone friend was translating to our host. Some jokes took some time to laugh on J. We have tasted amazing Omani bread and famous dates which we fall in love with.
We have been invited for fish barbeque in the southeast part of Oman, in Masirah Island we slept at the place of an old man who found us camping at the beach. We drank an afternoon tea in Hasik and we had a beautiful morning view and delicious breakfast with local men in the beach gazebo close to Salalah.
Hitchhiking in Omani´s climate is extremely hard for European people who are coming from nice colourful autumn. That’s why we were really looking forward to the car with AC. There were days when we passed more than 700km. like the day when we woke up in Masirah in to morning and we fell asleep like a 150km from Salalah.
When we reached Salalah we have reached our goal. We were so happy that even hot noon didn’t stop us to discover the city, visit the local mosque and the market. We haven’t been there in the best time when everything is green but even thou it was something beautiful for us. We stayed one day and after that we started our way back to Dubai and to our homes. We took the sea side road to reach Salalah, on our way back we chose the desert road. There weren’t much car in the desert but we were lucky and on Syrian truck driver took us almost to the Maskat. We said to each other bay and we were ready to finish our trip. After 14 days in Oman we were crossing the borders back to UEA and our trip was coming to the end. We have completely run out of energy but our memory was and still is full of memories.
Travelling by hitchhiking is full of experiences. You meet many people, you share your story and they share their. You discover goodness which is in all of us every day. And about Omani people this is true twice. It was amazing experience. We have travelled around 5000 km and we stopped more than 80 cars during this great two weeks. Thanks to this experience we have discovered Oman with his culture and we have something what we will remember to the rest of our lives.
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- (upraveno 2019-11-08T00:41:11+01:00)
No, je to neobvykle v angličtině, ale myslím, že ne poprvé u zdejších cestopisů. Neobvyklé je taky, že chybí fotky. Vzhledem k tomu, že cílová skupina na cestování stopem po Ománu jsou hlavně studenti, tak ti snad umí anglicky dobře a aspoň si ji procvičí. Jinak bych tomu nic nevytknul, čte se to dobře, akorát občas chybí nějaké písmenko a Maskat se v angličtině píše Muscat.
Co jsem četl i jinde, stopování je v Ománu snadné, ale třeba fotograf Pavel Svoboda to i přes vlastní dobré zkušenosti moc nedoporučuje. Přece jen se člověk v odlehlých oblastech nemusí dostat tam, kam chce, je třeba mít hodně vody atd. Na druhou stranu je to asi jediná možnost, jak poznat místní lidi, když občas pozvou k přespání u nich doma. Jinak tam člověk potká (na recepci hotelu, v restauraci) většinou jen Indy a podobné zahraniční pracovníky.
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