shanlung (shanlung) wrote,

Tinkerbell for sale // Riamfada at Wadi Bani Awf and Nakhal revisited


Tinkerbell for sale

Yes folks.

Dear Katleen seemed to be at it again.

I got an email last night from an irate guy telling me how my photos of sweet Tink were hijacked.

That person wrote

someone is using your pictures.

The person running this add:

is sending the pictures of your bird. They sent an email and mentioned names tagged in your photos as well. We weren't sure if this was a true add or not. They mentioned that the birds name is love and 14 months old. I can see from your albums that your birds name is Tinkerbell and you have pictures from 2005, so the bird is clearly not 14 months old. It seems to me that you love your bird and have no intentions on getting rid of her. The person has been reported, however i thought you should know that whoever this person is, is sending people who reply to the add, your photos.
Have a good one.


So I went into that ad. And saw that running in Anchorage, Alaska.
Photos of Tink were not there anymore, probably removed because of that person who wrote to me.

A different email was used this time. And if you all recalled, dear katleen of Anchorage Alaska was flogging off Riamfada the last time. I guess what I wrote in my report was read by her and no more mentions were made of weight of greys and flight time and stuff. More nondescript name was used by her this time.

Perhaps I should have written to ad above to receive photos of Tinkerbell, but she would have recognised my alter email. I am too laid back to go and fabricate a new email just to write to her.

But it is nice to know my photos of Tinkerbell even though it was long time ago were so recognisable that people like dear katleen was caught even though she changed the name.

I thanked that nice person for pointing this out to me of course. I told him I felt it impossible to stop that kind of nonsense by people like dear katleen, or whatever she want to call herself to be.


Riamfada at Wadi Bani Awf and Nakhal revisited

Many more photos in flickr folder 'Wadi Bani Awf & Nakhal Fortress Revisited'

This came about from my earlier trip to Rustaq. I mentioned the road there ran by the base of this massive Hajar mountain chain. This is the same mountain chain where my travels to Jebel Akdhar and Jebel Shams had been described, except the trips up those mountains were on the other side of the chain on the road to Nizwa.

Shortly after leaving Rustaq, I saw a split in the massive chain of mountains, and more important, noticed a track leading into that split.


I turned the car off the road onto that track. This was unplanned and my dear wife asked why I was doing that. I told her of that split in the mountain I wanted to explore and reminded her that wonderful village of Wekan
"26-27Feb Cherry blossoms at mountain village Wekan // Yiti"

started with a similar split in the mountain side.

She pointed out the signpost indicating this was the way to Wadi Bani Awf. I had no clue what dear wife was talking about as that name did not ring any bell in my head. She sensed I was clueless from my silence and told me that was the way into Snake Gorge.


AH!!!! Yes!

That not only rang bells, a whole load of fireworks were set off too in my head. Snake gorge was much described as a spectacular place never to be missed in Oman. And Snake Gorge eventually would connect to the Hutta Caves and Jebel Shams as well.

It was already about 330pm on that day. I allowed only a 15 minutes drive into that split in the mountain which opened into a beautiful valley. The day was getting shorter and shorter and that track was rough. That drive was enough to wet my appetite for more even as I turned back. I had passed a sign at the entrance of this gorge to a rest house touting itself as your second home. We had to check that out. That resort turned out to be a wonderful green layback place. Lots of trees, plants and flowers everywhere, with little chalets here and there and at 25OR per night. In Oman, that was very cheap. And it looked a great place to stay and chill out in. We checked out the rooms. Basic and comfortable looking. I went into the bathroom, and on the wall just behind the water heater was this big gecko who turned his head and blinked at me. There and then, we knew our next weekend plans.

Winter was now on us. No more of those high 40C temperatures. Mornings would see the thermometer at 18-20C.

So it was on the next weekend that we went there. Our own Katleen heard from us and accepted our invitation to join us and she had fallen in love with Riamfada long time ago. My wife called and made the booking for Thurday night.

So it was on 5th November that the four of us went there. Katleen never been to this part of Oman. So that Hajar mountain masiff that we drove along the foot of was awesome to us and even more awesome to her that first time for her. She saw that beautiful wadi before Rustaq as we had to pass by there.

We checked into that guest house first and we fell more in love with that place. I love this kind of rustic laid back place much more than those 5 stars resort. And it cost a lot less than 150OR++ in those places.

We then drove to AL Awabi, the nearest town , to pick up takeaway lunch aiming to drive into Wadi Bani Awf and into Snake gorge after that.

That track into Wadi Bani Awf was very rough. All the stunning places are very rough going. You need a true 4x4 and with high clearance and not the SUV that I have. You also need another true 4x4 as well in case you get into trouble and needed towing. You needed a couple of spare tires and the elbow grease to do that.

So I drove very very slowly. You can see from the photos the state of the road. From time to time, convoys of 4x4 in 3s, in 4s, and 5s would blitz past my slow moving SUV. If you signed up for one of those trips, try to get yourself in the first vehicle. That way you can enjoy the marvellous sights and views without billowing dust clouds kicked up by the first vehicle.

That valley was dry and arid. Yet from time to time, water will spring up into little streams. Then little fishes and tadpoles could be seen wriggling about. And with those food, snakes were there to eat what they could.

We stop from time to time to see those pools and the life in them, and to fly Riamfada too.

Snake gorge was 30 km inside. I drove an hour, and we went 14 km only. It was already 2pm. And the thought of driving another 3 hours with the counter thought of the nice green resort that we checked into that begged to be chilled out in decided we turned around and go back to the resort and we would eat our picnic lunch there.

There will be many next times to get to Snake Gorge. Why not you do a Google on Wadi Bani Awf and while you at it, check out the Google images from other people as well.

Many more photos in flickr folder 'Wadi Bani Awf & Nakhal Fortress Revisited'








While writing this, my curiosity on Anchorage overwhelmed my laidbackness and I created another email to write to that ad. I just got a reply.

Dear Katleen now became dear "Rose Marry" <>

That letter she send me was the same Dear Katleen send, except it did not mention Riamfada anymore by name. Dommie and Katie were still in her letter. And I got another load of photos of Riamfada, same as what she send to me as dear katleen. What more can I say other than katleen or Rose Marry is crazy and still trying to rip off folks with a humongous CAG.


We had our lunch in the patio.

We were joined by the resort tabby cat. He got very friendly with me and purring away when I scratched his ears. Then we got a 'guided tour' by the house boy who was proud of this place. We were escorted by that tabby cat. I felt sad that we were the only people there and it was the weekend too. Such a rare gem and just an hour and half from Muscat.

We saw their 'rain forest' and along meandering paths, we came to their round swimming pool with a huge plastic dolphin floating on it. They had a borehole and with water, anything became possible. Since they were the only one in that area, I guess the water they pump mattered little. Without that water there will be no plants and trees and flowers that made this resort so enchanting and wonderful a place to be in.




We read, chilled out, walked about enjoying the exuberance of the greenery, went back to reading, flying Riam and the hours went by.

Later on, the owner of this place came. He regaled us with the colorful story of his life. Oman was historically a power in this part of the world. Other parts of this world including Zanzibar were under the control and rule of the Sultanate of Oman. Mr Mohamed Gharib Al Awfy family was living in Zanzibar and he described his life there until they had to leave and relocate back into Oman.

He told me foreign groups were often guests of his resort using that as base camp for explorations into Snake gorge and the rugged beautiful valleys of that area.

Riamfada bedroom in the 'cupboard alcove'

He decided to throw in breakfast , and a wonderful breakfast it was the next morning where he joined us again.


If you are in Oman, it will be a crying shame if you do not come and enjoy this little oasis of a resort and recharge your batteries here.

The details here

Mohamed Gharib Al Awfy
Tourist Village Resort Motel
Wadi Bani Awf
9921 4873

This place is a lot lot better than the photos my wife had taken.


We checked out later after breakfast. Since Rustaq was so near, drove over there to show Katleen the hot spring. The hot spring was channeled down to bathing rooms for people to enjoy the spring.

We then went to Nakhal to the fort and the even more exuberant hotspring there.

Many more photos in flickr folder 'Wadi Bani Awf & Nakhal Fortress Revisited'



After those episodes at Rustaq fort where Riam showed she could do heights, we enjoyed ourselves flying her through heights. This showed too in the home neighbourhood walks. Her flights to me down the road became so much more spectacular in that I thought she was going to other neighbourhoods before she dipped her flight to get back to me.



Above shot of an Iranian family who loved what we were doing. He has a CAG too, together with lots of birds and other beasties. In time I will write of our visit to his place that we made the following weekend.



The above flight was tough. The wind became stronger with much eddyings. Riam took off amidst my fears to distant horizon before she started to climb and climb to me that can be seen in the sequential photos taken. She landed on a rock outcrop at same height at me. She then preened herself refusing to fly the 2 meters across to me making me grovel and grovel to her. What else was new?

One must abandon, or be prepared to abandon all sense of pride and dignity when taking a flighted CAG on outings.

Many more photos in flickr folder 'Wadi Bani Awf & Nakhal Fortress Revisited'



If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.
Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust

I am a life member of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Do join us to do
whatever we can for the wildlife that shared our planet.

or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice

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