Notes on the Geography of Oman: Jebel Akhdar
The highest part of the Hajars is Jebel Akhdar, "green mountain." Well, is it?
Here's the start of the road up. Not too promising. (Yes, that's a crenelated phone booth, made of the finest plastic. File it under "Adopting Western Technology While Retaining Indigenous Culture.")
The road up used to be a four-wheel-drive affair, but the Omanis in 2004 were ramming a fine road through the canyon.
Does gray-green shrubbery make a green mountain?
We're pretty much up top now, with the town of Sayq in the distance and the peak called Shams beyond. At 14,000 feet high, it's visible from the sea, 50 miles to the northeast.
New housing in town.
A mile further. Don't run.
Here's why: the big step into Wadi Muaydin. Still not much green, but wait.
On the opposite and sunny side of the canyon wall, springs have been channelled into irrigation ditches that support a profusion of crops.
The terraces are perilous but extremely old and, surmisedly, of Persian origin.
Another surprise: a path developed for foreigners.
Map included. It shows the path winding from the village of Al Aqor past Al Ain, Ash Sharaijah, and Seeq. Got shoes?
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