01-Dec-2002 -- We spent three weeks in November/December 2002 (straddling the Islamic Ramaḍān/`Īdu-l-Fiṭr holidays) travelling in Oman. The furthest our circuit took us from our home in Riyāḍ, Saudi Arabia, was the southern city of Ṣalāla, where we visited our first urban confluence point at 17N 54E. On the way south we visited 21N 57E, 20N 56E, and 18N 54E; and on the way to the east coast of Oman (on our return) we visited 18N 55E, 18N 56E and 19N 57E. In all we motored 8,300 km.
As usual on this trip our bedroom was in the back of the Land Rover, the tent being used to store displaced cargo overnight and then as a washing and dressing room in the morning. The morning was notable for its heavy dew, which goes some way to explain the survival of vegetation in otherwise arid areas. We also found that we had camped in an area littered with fossils, which we admired and photographed but left undisturbed. Oman is very environmentally conscious, and wild plants, fossils and archaeological artefacts are protected. This policy seemed to mean that there was more left undisturbed for all to enjoy. Days later we visited another popular archaeological site and saw numerous fragments of pottery and glass left in situ or just placed on adjacent stones.
The tracks got progressively less smooth as we distanced ourselves from the oil fields, but there was still an occasional village with necessities like petrol and a "Foodstuff and Luxuries" (a common sign in southern Oman) shop, and also well looked after signposts.
The confluence point was a mere 2 km off the track, over a field of stones, and the vista was a typical one for the area, complete with a plant bearing purple flowers bang in the "00" area.
Continued at 19N 57E.