Adventure across Wadi Dhaiqa
I yearn so much for adventure across Oman’s mountains and their beautiful wadis. In such adventures, the spirit of challenge and exploration intermixes with the joy of achievement. Recollections of these encounters with nature remain indelibly imprinted in my memory, and are source of much inspiration for my photographic work.
It is that feeling of solitude and co-existence with nature, away from life’s tumult and stresses, that creates a yearning for new experiences.
Join me today on an adventure trek on foot across Wadi Dhaiqa that meanders from Wilayat Dima wa’ Taieen to Wilayat Quriyat, a distance of 18km amid gigantic rocks and pools of waters. The trip takes six hours.
Wadi Dhaiqa is one of the most famous among Oman’s wadis, linking the Sharqiya region with Muscat Governorate, meandering from the eastern Hajar Mountain range from Wilayat Dima and Taieen. There, three wadis converge — Taieen and Dima disgorge their natural bounty at Ghabra al Tam village where Wadi Samaiah joins in. Wadi Dhaiqa, meaning ‘narrow wadi’, emerges from this point onwards. It is so called due to its narrow rocky course carved through rocky terrain by the gushing waters over thousands of years. It flows into the Arabian Sea near Daghmar village in Wilayat Quriyat. This wadi is considered to be the most fertile in Oman, as is evident from the fact that Al Mazara village has plenty of water even when the rains are scarce.
To cover the length of Wadi Dhaiqa, we formed two groups — one heading towards Al Mazara village in Quriyat from the Taieen side, and the other trekking in from Al Mazara village to Wilayat Dima wa’Taieen. Joining the first group, we set out at daybreak from Tol village west of the mouth of Wadi Dhaiqa at Ghubrat al Tam, where huge pools of water can be found. The width of the wadi ranges from 40-80 metres with steep rocky walls on either side. About one kilometre into our trek we found our path barred by a pile of huge rocks which must have tumbled down from the surrounding summits. Their smooth surface makes them impossible to scale. A path on the western bank of the wadi helps us get across.
Thereafter, the trek is less arduous with the wadi zigzagging for the rest of the journey. En route, the passage of light through the water creates interesting shades and patterns, making for fine snapshots of the surrounding natural settings.
Some three-and-a-half hours into our trek, we decided to pause and wait for the second team making their way from Al Mazara village in Wilayat Quriyat. After a lunch break, we resumed our journey through the wadi. This part appeared to be easier as the course was no longer narrow but rather wide along the approach to Al Mazara Village. There were small farms perched high on the edge of the wadi. Troughs of water on both sides of the water were a source of nourishment for lush date palm gardens. Just ahead was Al Mazara Village where our van awaited us.
Our adventure through Wadi Dhaiqa was a wonder experience indeed! You must try it!!
However, some precautions must be taken prior to the trek.
Some dos and don’ts:
Physical fitness is a necessary pre-requisite.
A skilled team leader or local guide would be preferable.
A Thurayya GSM is recommended.
Take the advice of local people about the route and possible impediments along the way.
Take along detailed maps and GPS for the journey.
Carry enough water and food. Avoid carrying unnecessary items that may impede the trek.