Times of Oman
Jun 26, 2017 Last Updated at 20:25 AST
Oman travel: A trip to Wadi Al Khoudh
February 22, 2017 | 5:31 PM
by Salim Al Afifi
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Weekend getaways and long road trips add an extra sparkle to our usual, routine-driven holidays, and if you are in Oman you already know that there are innumerable places to explore here. From beaches with white sands and lagoons filled with pink water, to peaky mountains and shadowy caves; Oman continues to be a treasure trove for all those who love to venture out. But a visit to these spots require prior planning and time too. Recently during one such casual sojourn I stumbled upon a hidden gem within the capital. Resplendent with dirt-coloured oasis and exotic greenery, Wadi Al Khoudh is a must visit place in Oman.

What makes this place so special is that it’s yet to be explored fully, and many tourists aren’t aware of this place. They go to other areas in search of wadis and camping spots, not knowing that what they’re looking for is stone’s throw away.

Wadi Al Khoudh might not have the rustic desert charm of the Sharqiyah Sands or the eye-soothing greenery of the grass-covered mountains of Salalah, but it certainly has a beauty of its own. And how could I miss it.

With the all-new 2017 Hyundai Creta I was soon on the roads with my friends, some sleeping bags, food baskets, and not to forget, my favourite playlist.

We started our journey from Wattayah where I picked up my Creta that looked quite appealing, and was more like a mini Santa Fe. When it comes to cars I have a special place in my heart for crossovers, and this particular one has been designed in that concept with utmost precision. With Hyundai’s eye-catching signature frontal grill, cool tail lights, perfectly designed curves, and sporty roofline, Creta combines sportiness with a bit of practicality. The 1.6-litre petrol engine, which is good enough, is equipped with a six-speed automatic gearbox. You might have apprehensions when it comes to the torque, but I was quite impressed by the smooth and flawless shift of gears. The engine will slightly roar as it cannot keep up with the sudden action but to avoid this you can shift to the manual mode and change gears at your own pace.

As I drove towards Wadi Al Khoudh, I took the Expressway that led further to the wadi. After about 30-minutes drive, I took the Al Khoudh Village exit on my right, and continued straight until I reached a bridge-like road with two huge mountains enclosing it in. This was the entrance to Al Khoudh Village, an isolated residential town known by the name of old Al Khoudh.

As I entered this secluded neighbourhood, I was a bit disappointed seeing a series of modern villas as I had imagined it to be more like a village. Nevertheless, the town has maintained the charms of a quaint old town and we could see children playing on the streets, women enjoying their afternoon tea, and men preparing their 4x4s for a wadi adventure. You can also see a few weathered houses with ancient architecture and their colour palette soaked up in magnificence. I truly enjoyed this session of village exploration and so did my Creta as it moved swiftly around corners and rugged roads with its great suspension. After an hour of exploration and sight-seeing, we reached the wadi that stretches from Al Khoudh to Ma’abela. As we reached at the entrance point, I realised that only 4x4 vehicles could go in, as some parts of the wadis were steep with massive stones. In some areas water was deep as it had rained a few days ago. Without taking any risk, I parked my Creta on a flat surface nearby the entrance, and continued the journey by foot.

As we walked inside the wadi, I was fascinated by the striking ambiance. There were small oasis of water scattered all over with clear water running non-stop towards the main wadi. We also witnessed some rare plants growing amid dirt-coloured waters. With a breezy air tickling my sense, I was sure that this place would be my new favourite spot.




As my friends and I found a hotspot amid the plants, we sat for lunch and barbecued our sausages (this was the easiest and quickest option for our last minute trip), and made sandwiches with lettuce, mustard, and a lot of mayonnaise. Sitting in this part of Muscat, I glanced around in wonder, looking at this view in front of me that looked like a painting; green plants floating on water, with long bushes that looked like a cornfield stretching along the wadi, with mountains in the background. I was overwhelmed with bliss as I overlooked this undiscovered land from far. Soon the night started creeping in and we lit a campfire and had our homemade karak tea before dozing off. While my friends are campers at heart, I always find it difficult to sleep out in the open. So I found a way out to ease my discomfort and quickly walked back to my Creta, rolled the window down, and let Ed Sheeran put me to sleep with his soothing vocals playing in my ears.

The next day, we woke up late, did another session of sausage barbecue and decided to have a quick dip in the wadi waters. I’m not quite fond of the idea of swimming in wadis as it can be dangerous, but if caution is taken, there’s nothing as fun as this lively activity.

Before heading back home, I took several photos of the all-new Hyundai Creta, adorning its exterior styling, and then packed our belongings and drove back home.

Being truly a one-of-a-kind place in Muscat, Wadi Al Khoudh tops in my list of places to camp in Muscat; a perfect place to have it all without traversing a far-off distance. [email protected]




The all-new 2017 Hyundai Creta 1.6 GLS

This car is excellent for cities and quick drives, might not be the perfect choice for those into rugged adventures, but it’s fuel consumption and practicality makes it a great option for everyday drive.

What we liked the most:

- Exterior styling and good looks

- Fuel consumption

- Practicality

Features

ABS and ESP

17” alloy wheel

Audio with radio/cd/mp3 (touch screen)

Audio control on steering

Bluetooth

Central door lock

Driver and front passenger airbag

Folding mirror

Front and rear fog lamp

Keyless entry

Manual air conditioner

Mudguard

Power mirror with turn signal indicator

Power windows

Projection head lamp

Rear camera

Rear parking sensor

Smart key with button start

Contact Authorised Dealer in Oman

OTE GROUP

Wattayah, Muscat

Toll Free: +968 8005 0003

hyundaioman.com


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