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Notes on the Geography of Oman: Jebel Akhdar

The highest part of the Hajars is Jebel Akhdar, "green mountain."  Well, is it?  

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Oman: Jebel Akhdar picture 1

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.")

Oman: Jebel Akhdar picture 2

The road up used to be a four-wheel-drive affair, but the Omanis in 2004 were ramming a fine road through the canyon.

Oman: Jebel Akhdar picture 3

Does gray-green shrubbery make a green mountain?

Oman: Jebel Akhdar picture 4

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.

Oman: Jebel Akhdar picture 5

New housing in town. 

Oman: Jebel Akhdar picture 6

A mile further.  Don't run.

Oman: Jebel Akhdar picture 7

Here's why: the big step into Wadi Muaydin.  Still not much green, but wait.

Oman: Jebel Akhdar picture 8

On the opposite and sunny side of the canyon wall, springs have been channelled into irrigation ditches that support a profusion of crops. 

Oman: Jebel Akhdar picture 9

The terraces are perilous but extremely old and, surmisedly, of Persian origin.

Oman: Jebel Akhdar picture 10

Another surprise: a path developed for foreigners.

Oman: Jebel Akhdar picture 11

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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