Driving Between Dibba and Masafi

On a Saturday morning, about a month ago, Michael decided to show me an interesting phenomenon that can be seen in the arid, yet scenic landscape that opens up on either side of the E89 between Dibba and Masafi. Next to the road, and sometimes even under it, deep, narrow chasms open up like hungry mouths. Within these, an abundance of palm trees and other plants, including banana trees, create an unexpected and lush surprise. It is easy to miss these gems when rushing along this piece of road, and also not that easy to find a place to pull up for a closer look. We did manage to find a place where we could pull off, and we marvelled at the view that stood in sharp contrast with our normal perspective of these beauties. Looking down on the tall palm trees made me feel like a giant, instead of the midget when I usually have to crane my neck upwards.

Now in full adventure mode, we took a turn-off that reads “Wadi Sana”. A little further down this road, and we branched off onto a gravel road behind a cluster of houses, that snaked higher into the mountains. With the climb in elevation we could appreciate the full extent of the rugged beauty of the landscape. I love places where I can see far and wide. It is when a landscape creates the impression of immense space, that I feel most at peace.

Up here, we stumbled upon tucked away farms. This bold affirmation of life never ceases to surprise or amaze me in a landscape that, more often than not, reminds me of the moon: alluring, yet barren and uninhabitable.

On the way down we found a ‘mystery’ road, and on impulse, decided to follow it down instead of the one we used on our way up. On discovering that this road has tight bends, and a rough, off-road feel to it, Michael got excited, and I anxious. My peace shattered! I do not gravitate towards anything that produces an adrenaline rush, and off-roading quite frankly, freaks me out. Not that this could be considered an off-road experience at all, but it hinted at it, and I quickly asked if I could rather walk. Problem solved and peace restored! We could both indulge in something we enjoy, and although I did not have the most appropriate footwear for such an undertaking, and had to leave the cool womb of the car, I enjoyed every step. Suddenly the road looked a lot more graded than treacherous, and I could feel my heart lighten up with joy. In walking down, I felt as if I inhaled the landscape deep into my lungs, and as such, affirmed my place on earth .

All too soon our drive came to an end as we headed home on familiar roads, but we have spotted a couple of secluded corners for an overnight camping trip, which we will most certainly indulge in when summer burns itself out.

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