Oman Culture: Sumail Gap, A Rocky Boat in the Interior

Lifestyle Wednesday 03/August/2016 19:03 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman Culture: Sumail Gap, A Rocky Boat in the Interior

The Sumail Gap, the mind blowing natural passage dividing the Eastern and Western Hajjar Mountains, has been since the old times one of the main communication routes connecting the seaside with the interior. Several intertwined wadis decorated with little towers and forts here and there form the natural route used once by traders and caravans, and nowadays by curious tourist with their cameras in hand or local families on a weekend out.
The pictures of Sumail Gap have also been printed in multiple postcards sold from Nizwa to Muttrah souqs. Its cut rocks bordering the top have a very peculiar shape that attract the eyes of the visitors and the postcard buyers but wait a minute. What does it exactly resemble?
Yes, you got it: A boat, a rocky boat kilometres away from the sea. But how is that possible? How did a boat end up getting petrified on the top of the mountain?
Tells the local legend that many many years ago a group of sailors reached shore. Hesitantly, they dared to enter the interior to get some provisions before continuing their trip but instead of a grumpy seller they found a little cute girl who sold them the provisions needed. Getting brave all of a sudden (or due to the small size of the little girl) they decided to play pirates-to-be and leave the village without paying her what they owned. However the girl didn’t sit on the floor and start crying. She went to see her sheikh and complain about the sailors. Enraged by their coward act, the sheikh rode fast till the harbour, took their ship and against the wind he pulled it back up to the top of the mountain as a punishment for their act and a warning sign for other pirates-to-be. The ship got petrified and decorates now the view of Sumail Gap, visitors’ pictures and tourists’ postcards.—[email protected]