I wanted to go to Yiti beach, I'd seen this house nearby which was rather delicately decorated with shells all over the wall. The last time I'd been there, it looked like a ghost village, almost.
So we set off, on the new road. Pretty soon, all traces of the city were gone, the road seemed endless. Placed between craggy hills on either side, the only sign of civilisation being telephone poles, and the winding white lane divider.
Where the road goes, nobody knows. T'is not the destination we seek, but the journey. The road goes on, endlessly, till it seems the mountains will swallow you and you will be one with the soil of Oman...
We knew which way to go, Dad never forgets a road. But we had time on our hands. And new roads had been built. So every time we saw a turning away from Yiti, we took it. We followed it till the end, and then turned back to the Yiti road. Once we found the tarmac giving way to a steep graded road. A journey for another day. The next Detour found us at the gates of an unstarted beach resort project.
Back to the Yiti road.
We passed villages, here and there. Clusters of houses with makeshift garages of green gauze, shielding family vehicles from the blazing heat. A few boys playing, youths sitting around on steps, quietly chatting. And goats. Lots of goats. Silky goats on their hind legs stripping branches of their leaves. Thin little kids gambolling, tails waggling. Goat family crossing the road in front of our behemoth vehicle. Brown goats, beige goats, white goats, basking in the shade like lazy cats. Goats sleeping anywhere and everywhere.
Yiti was one of the first places we reached, before the many detours. The quiet vast beach we remembered had receded far away from the road, the land leveled for a resort project that had not started. It had run out of money, Dad said. They've spoilt everything, he said. I quite agreed.
I got out to take a few goat-y photos, as out of place there with my shorts and huge camera as a cat at a dog show, and I saw the sea peek at me from between houses.
Dangerous beaches these, Yiti, Qantab. They go very deep, very fast. But more beautiful beaches you'll never see in Oman. The city beaches, Shatti, Qurum, are perfect for a nice walk, yes. Walk the stretch, get some coffee. Sit on the wall. Go home. But Qantab, where we went yesterday, is almost a small bay, flanked by huge craggy hills on both sides. perfect for a trek, and the view, oh the view. Cameras are useless up there, because no camera can perfectly capture what you see, the essence of it, and I just ended up frustrated.
We did finally find the house with the shells at Yiti. It wasn't as beautiful as my mind remembered. But it was still unique. And the epiphany was in the journey, not the destination.
Oman is beautiful.