Weekend Away

Michael loves fishing. I don’t. Problem is that with him working in Al Ain, we only see one another over weekends, so his fishing expeditions have dwindled into a sorry state of non-existence. To rectify this and to spend some time together we decided to spend the weekend in Khasab, Oman where the fishing is not only known to be good, but where Michael loves to fish.

Late Thursday afternoon we picked up our rental car and headed north towards the border post at Tibat. Once through the border the magnificent coastal drive dropped us 40km later at the Golden Tulip hotel just outside Khasab. Even though most of our journey was made after sunset I could still appreciate the sheer cliffs of the Hajar Mountains as they drop into the Strait of Hormuz in the soft glow of the streetlights that line the road.

The Golden Tulip sits on a rocky outcrop and the gentle lapping of the waves just outside our balcony promised a night of blissful sleep. That, unfortunately was not to be for me. The bed was so hard that I could have sworn that sleeping on a marble floor would have been more pleasant. Tossing and turning, I eventually decided to flee the three-quarter bed Michael and I were sharing after he nearly squashed me for the second time. With the hope that having my own bed will help to trap the oh so evasive sleep I craved, I miscalculated my husband’s penchant for snoring. I wondered how many divorce cases cited sleep deprivation as a reason.

Everything seemed to conspire against me: the rustling of the bed sheets every time I made the slightest movement; the glaring purple light from the television which I tried to ward off by building a duvet wall, just to have it collapse on me time and again; the rattling of the door when the sea breeze picked up; the whining of boat engines in the middle of the night (most probably smugglers plying their trade) and the muddled state of my mind that simply could not let go of the discomfort I was experiencing.

I was grateful when our 5am wake-up call signaled the end of a restless night, and was pleasantly surprised that I was quite chirpy for someone who normally gets grumpy at the slightest hint of sleep deprivation. As Michael set off for his day of fishing, I took myself down to a leisurely breakfast. There I watched as the cleaners got the pool area ready for the day, and as they started vacuuming the fake grass, I strolled outside to soak up a bit of sun. The winter sun seemed weak and lethargic so early, but the morning was peaceful and I had nowhere to go. I amused myself by watching a little shrike taking advantage of an abandoned breakfast plate full of delicious little morsels before it was cleared away by an industrious waiter. I marveled at the kids frolicking in the pool at this still cool hour, and as their mothers hurried them out to get ready for a day trip, I popped my earphones in my ears and switched on my Kindle.

I had a long lazy day stretching out ahead of me, but when a hand scratched the top of my head, I was both relieved and surprised to find that it belonged to Michael. Their fishing trip did not quite pan out the way they planned, and with a sea that was a tad too rough, he headed back to the hotel at 11h30. As he was ready for a bit of a snooze, I decided to join him, but things on this trip seemed to take on a life of its own, as nothing thus far went according to any kind of plan we had. The afternoon turned into what could only be described as a soliloquy from my side while quaffing huge amounts of red wine. My excuse? I had a couple of thousand words left over from the previous week that I didn’t use, and I was, well, thirsty! We eventually managed the afternoon snooze, and luckily for me, the bed seemed much softer this time around. The only problem was the headache I woke up with. Michael’s simple solution? Another glass of red.

Saturday morning brought another beautiful sunrise, a pleasant breakfast by the pool, an interesting visit to Khasab Castle, and a drive home that allowed for scavenging stops at a couple of beaches. Our collection of interesting sea shells is growing and we love these treasure hunts on the beaches in the area: Michael because in his words “it makes me feel like a kid again”, and I because it makes me feel like an archaeologist.

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