Monday, 25 April 2016 – Day 11: Muscat, Oman
We saw a few teams haggling in the Mattrah Souk. Some paying for gas at a gas station with their rental car. A few at great restaurants and some hanging by the pool…albeit all too briefly.
Mysterious entry ways…
Half of Girls Gone World contemplating a ride
Dining with a local Omani Family
Teams Perfect Strangers + SLO Folks teaming up
So when everyone checked in poolside for happy hour and on time at 7:30PM, we were grateful for their safety and pleased with their stories and smiles. There were stories of: folks falling off camels, eating camel, teams playing restaurant roulette, visiting mosques and eating with locals in their homes (I love that scavenge!), dhow rides, along with visiting some remote oasis villages and historic forts too. Busy indeed. The resort and spa portion of their accommodations here in Muscat were left happily under-utilized by our intrepid travelers. Oman has such a different vibe than say Abu Dhabi and Dubai the last few years…or even Doha and Bahrain before that…Oman is oh so different.
So all safe…and now a 4-hour notice! Where should be go? North, south, west?
Well, we take a big break here and pivot to Sub-Saharan Africa for the first time! We are excited…
But a little background: In Singapore we were notified, despite all our plans, bookings and schedules, that our airline that was transporting us to Africa from Oman, unceremoniously rescheduled our flight 24 hours later than the ones we purchased and planned for. Obviously an unacceptable unilateral, uncaring decision on their parts for we the passengers. But it left us reeling and scrambling to find a solution to our problem. (A lot of what makes this event seem so seamless for our travelers is how we organize it so expertly after 11 such events in the bag from behind the scenes.) Time zones suck when this happens as we are half way around the world and a day late for our business associate support in North America. That said…we ceremoniously dumped that airline, cancelled our flights and rebooked on another airline. Twenty-two seats at within two days. But we had to do it to keep our schedule moving forward and to make their African experiences to come be complete, not be diminished minus 24-hours.
Now there is good and bad news with that…as we have a 4:45AM flight now to catch. Ungodly I know. But there is a price to pay for Africa, and leaving to get their at a reasonable time is not one of them.
So…Good news/bad news: The good news is we are going to Kenya and have pre-arranged visas-on-arrival for all our competitors. The bad news…we have to leave the hotel at 2:15AM to catch our flight! Ugh…
As they say, if you want to do extraordinary things, you have to do extraordinary things–my way of saying that we have an ugly early morning flight to Africa.
More about the Oman leg and our exciting journey to Kenya in our next post.