Oman: a gentle winter


Depending where you live, winter can be wild or mild, but still is the worst period of the year for those of us who do not like cold temperature and heavy snowstorm. Here in Northen Italy, where I live, winters can be pretty hard and long although milder than in other areas of the planet. We do usually get snow, which is a good thing for the several skii stations on the Alps, but temperature do very seldom go down below freezing point, except as during the coldest days of the year which are usually in mid January.

Despite the favourable location where I live, I have to admit I am a summer person. Not that I like to spend hours tanning on the beaches, which is not at all among my priorities, but I’d rather like the warmth sensation that some destinations offer all year round.

A couple of years ago I spent my Christmas break in Oman, a Country in the Arab Peninsula bordering Saudi Arabia, the UA and Yemen, which I liked a lot. I didn’t go to the famous Salalah, a beach destination in south west Oman where the majority of hotels are located, neither I boarded a cruise which is another way used by many to visit the cities on the coastline. I toured a lot the east and south east of the Country starting from the capital city, Muscat, passing by the former capital, Nizwa, down to the sand desert close to the village of Bidiyah, and I spent the night in the desert.

Since it’s pretty cold outside in these days and I happened to go through my photo albums, I rediscovered some pictures I took in the desert of Oman and started feeling again that warm sensation that made my January trip to Oman so pleasant. I am working on a full post about my tour of Oman, thus, for now, I just want to share some pictures I took in the desert which recall images you might have seen on TV documentaries or movies such as Lawrence of Arabia.

First of all note that the Omani are very welcoming people, kind and gentle to anyone, they are obsessed by perfumes, juts like me and they live in a Country that is blessed by warm temperatures all year round, altough in summertime they might be too high for those that are not accostumed to temperatures above 40 celsius degrees. During my trip to Oman I had the chance to sleep at a Camp in the middle of the desert, although well equipped with every comfort. Rooms were simple but nice, and there was sort a bedouin tent right in the middle of the camp where people were allowed to sit and experience the real desert way of living. The food was simply delicious (there was a mix of Omani food and Indian food) and the drinks very refreshing, above all the very tasty “lemon mint” drink which is found everywhere in Oman and help counteract the high temperatures (I toured in early January when temperatures are between 25 and 30 celsius degrees, thus full summer for a Finn). My guide took me to the top of a very high dune to watch the sundown and I have to admit, despite the quality of my camera, I wasn’t able to capture the real colour of it and especially that magic atmosphere.

If you plan to spend a day in the desert and overnight at a camp remember that regardless of the season, temperature collapses immediately after sunset, thus take a sweater or a jacket with you and wear shoes that can prevent ankle twisting while climbing the dunes (and to protect from snakes bites).

For now, just enjoy these pictures, hoping they will convey some warmth to you also.

Oman Sand Desert, photo by Matteo Gazzarata
Oman Sand Desert. Photo by Matteo Gazzarata
Camel ride in the Oman Sand Desert. Photo by Matteo Gazzarata
Oman Sand Desert. Photo by Matteo Gazzarata
Sunset in the Oman Sand Desert. Photo by Matteo Gazzarata
Sunset in the Oman Sand Desert. Photo by Matteo Gazzarata
Oman Desert Camp. Photo by Matteo Gazzarata
Oman Sand Desert, view from the Camp. Photo by Matteo Gazzarata

9 thoughts on “Oman: a gentle winter

  1. Your photos are sublime. Oman has been on my list of desired travel destinations ever since I saw an Anthony Bourdain episode shot there. Amazing landscape and culture. Looking forward to reading your post on Oman.

    Liked by 1 person

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