MUSCAT, OMAN (March 3, 2016) — During spring break this year, I took a short but event-filled trip to nearby Oman. Two days of trekking in the Eastern Hajar Mountains and two days of canyoning—Wadi Al Hail and Wadi Bani Khalid—plus some bonus time in the coastal town of Sur (known for its wooden shipbuilding) and Mutrah (to walk along the corniche and explore the souq).
I joined a trip run by some excellent local guides at Oman Trekking Guides. Our original itinerary was complicated by some unusual weather as we crossed the Hajar Mountains on our second day. As we crossed a 5,000-foot plateau after climbing up from our starting point, an intense hailstorm swept over us and filled the ground with marble sized hail that made it look like a snowstorm had hit. The moisture dump turned the nearby ravines and canyons into raging rivers.
We arrived at our intended campsite to find it completely flooded. We tried to drive back down to the coast over a road that was now washed out, but eventually had to stop due to slick mud that would have caused us to slide off the road if we kept going. So we hiked about four more miles down to the bottom of the muddy road where our other vehicle was parked. We spent that night in Sur, which allowed us to explore the coastal town the next morning before getting back on track with our original itinerary.