Mid-month I drove down to Salalah from Muscat and back. Stopping at the Oryx reserve at Jaluni I was amazed that,
like camels, the Oryx are born during the heat of summer; perhaps in a desert the general lack of food doesn’t make any scheduling difference to the survival of young. The mountains around Salalah were exceptionally green for June because of the heavy rains, which fell in early May.
In the wooded escarpment areas above Salalah, hundreds of caterpillars seemed to be bungee jumping with silk threads from some trees onto the ground while the additional water seemed to have attracted a variety of Dragonflies. On my journey back, I drove up the east coast and overnighted in Ras al Had to watch the Green Turtles nest. The cyclone of early June had lifted sand higher up the main nesting beaches that resulted in the females nesting much closer to each other than I have seen previously.
Along my journey I met a convoy of 4 Chinese “Chana” vehicles who were making a trip from China to South Africa to promote the durability of the brand http://www.chanatrax.co.za/imageGalleryFrame.cfm?id=179&start=6 . While I chatted with them at the petrol pump the attendant charged them with my fuel on top of theirs (it’s quite normal for several cars to have their fuel charged to a single person), and it was only after a bit of head scratching that we managed to sort out what I owed them. Fortunately, after Guno the road network was either undamaged or mostly repaired along my route and I called into Sur. Here the contrast between the ability of robust modern buildings and older (pre 1970s) ones to withstand storm damage was clear. It was good to see the Dhow yard relatively unscathed especially as a new larger Dhow is under construction. Quite apart from rebuilding the infrastructure the Oman Government is also undertaking a compensation survey to enable private companies and families to recover quickly from the impact http://reliefweb.int/report/oman/omaniran-cyclone-gonu-situation-report-no-1. Arriving back into Muscat the highways had been repaired so I could easily call into my local supermarket to re-stock on milk and other essentials http://www.sultan-center.com/Default.aspx?pageId=20 . However since my vehicle was unwashed for some time my most important stop was the car wash to avoid adding to my Police fines for driving a dirty car.