Thursday 29 Jan 2009 evening, after I finished that chess tournament, we took Riamfada with us to Al Seeb for dinner with us that you can see in the first few photos of the photoset. Even though darkness fell, Riamfada was quite happy. She never shown willingness to take human food before. And if the food was new to her, she was not keen to take a few bites. Tinkerbell was very much unlike her and wanted to try all kinds of food, especially food not offered to her.
photoset of dinner at Al Seeb here
I left the plate near Riamfada. I was delighted when she took a few nibbles of the fried rice.
The next morning, Friday 30 Jan, the 3 of us headed to Wadi Al Maih. We first drop in the chess tournament at the Seeb Wave location with Riam on my shoulder. Then we went on our way towards Yiti and Wadi Al Maih.
You can see in photo below Riamfada on the ring perch suspended from the Dyneema line tied to the hand straps above the rear doors. A towel protect my head rest in case Riam decided to go there like the last time. We managed to clean her poop from there, and we thought a towel there would give us less work.
When we went to Siefa beach a week ago, my wife saw a sign to Wadi Al Maih and she recalled Lonely Planet made a mention of that place.
We headed to Shangrila Hotel and then took that turn-off towards Yiti beach. Then 3 km before Yiti beach, the signpost to Wadi Al Maih came into sight directing us to a gravel track road. Not many vehicles were on this gravel road. A cloud of dust billowed out behind our car as we crunched our way forward. The same signpost told us 11 km to Wadi Al Maih. There were other vehicles heading our direction kicking up their cloud of dust. I guessed that was only fair that we drove into their cloud of dust just as they drove into the cloud of dust I created for them.
You noticed I wore huge sunglasses. The sun light was very intense such that many of the photos were washed out by the extreme light contrast. Without the sunglasses, it could be very uncomfortable for the eyes
The distant hills came slowly towards us as we made our way forward. From being on a broad rocky plain, we were coralled into a valley with stark hills on both side of us. The valley sides showed layers and layers of rocks cut through which brought this place into mention in Lonely Planet as a delightful wadi with colored rocks.
We knew we came into the Wadi not just because the tripmeter showed 11 km was travelled since that turn-off. Palm trees and houses appeared. And the gravel track became a tarmac road as well.
For a place with hardly any rain, it was delightful to see stream and pools of water appearing next to the road. I guess that water was seepage from the mountains that gathered here making it possible for people to live in and thereby giving a name to this place.
The water was crystal clear as you can see from the photos. It was nice and cool and deep enough to take a dip. Fishes were in the water. They must be very hardy as in a few months during summer, the water might be 40C and not that comfortable for fishes to live in.
On that day, it was about 23C, nice and cool. It was a typical winter day in Oman, the sky clear and blue with strong sunshine. Shade was a premium as there were few large trees outside settlements. It would not be comfortable to remain out in the strong sun for too long.
We saw a high cliff that provided shade and we drove off the road to have our picnic lunch there.
Photoset of Wadi Al Maih here
This was what life should be like. We relaxed in the shade of that cliff, had our lunch and did a few recalls.
We became so relaxed that Riamfada got bored. Then she decided to check out the swivel joint/clip system with a vengence. She concentrated so intensely and energetically that I watched her carefully. Which was very lucky for me. But then, I was always paranoid of their intelligence. Riamfada cracked that locking system. She manipulated the swivel I bought in Oman until it broke. What was good for deep sea fishing was not good enough for Riamfada. She then gave me a further shock when by brute force, she opened the fishing clip and withdrew the swivel after undoing an intricate weaving to hold that in place.
That was the only fishing clip that I had from Taiwan, being part of an early Tinkerbell Harness I brought back from Taiwan for keepsake.
I jury rigged a temporary solution. Fed Riam lots of sunflower seeds to distract her and did more recalls with her to amuse her.
Just before she broke that swivel joint and dismantled that fishing clip
We went back early.
Part of the reason was that Riamfada mash Batch 2 was finishing and I had been soaking the beans and stuff for Batch 3 and Friday night was the night of that big boil.
With this modification.
I mentioned that I had been mashing that mash which was a bit of work.
Portion of Batch 3 was cooking when we left home in the morning. I cooked the bigger beans, all but the green and red beans and the cereals.
They were cool by the time we got back. I poured that into the blender and at a touch of a switch, they became a nice liquid mash with all the bigger beans very well blendd. I then added chopped up sweet potatoes and carrots, the rice, wheat, barley, oats and red/green beans and brought all that to a boil. I let them cool over the night and spooned a 2 day portions into sandwich baggies and put that in the freezer.
Riamfada loved that Batch 3 mash.
Taking Riamfada out became so successful that we thought seriously of taking our kitties out on those trips as well. Kitties must be in harness.
I first did cat harness for Ivan in 2005 , following the Tinkerbell harness.
But some of you might like to take your kitty out for walks. In which case, you might like to try the harness that I designed.
This harness was modeled on the harness I designed and made for Tinkerbell my flying CAG when we were in Taiwan.
In 2005 when I came back to Singapore , here is how Ivan greeted me after 3 years. He jumped to my shoulder and clung on like limpet head butting me
I did not take many photos of the harness on Dommie. But I took lot of photos on the harness on Ivan
More photos in my wife Flickr folder here
Ivan the cat - a set on Flickr
The harness is very easy to make, and more comfortable and acceptable by your kitties. You make the harness to the exact size of your kitty for that great comfort, like a Formula 1 car seat is made to measure to that particular driver. No buckles and bows and what-not to 'adjust' harness to fit.
I can be more explicit about how that was designed and made if you are interested.
But it is not just getting harness and stuffing your kitty into it and going for a walk. If you do that, it will be likely both you and kitty will be miserable and not about to try a 2nd time. Which will be a real pity.
You need to get your kitty used to the harness first.
Put it on and leave it on for a few minutes, later stretching it to longer and longer time. Until your kitty used to it.
Your kitty should like you and follow you about in general. If not, you have to work on that relationship first before even thinking of harness.
Your kitty should come when called. Harness is not a device to drag your kitty to you.
Harness and leash should be a safety against spooking and scooting.
You then leash onto harness and do some walking with kitty in apartment. Where kitty got used to being 'nudged' to walking with you and kitty understand the restraint.
In my humble opinion, the kitty will train you as much as you train them, so watch and understand your kitty.
Some cats are house cats. Even though Ivan is a certified killer and brought me lots of 'presents', he is a house cat and afraid to go out unlike Dommie and Katie. At the end, Ivan was not taken out as he was too much a scaredy cat.
The temperament of your kitty will determine what you both can do.
We decided to re-introduce the harness to Dommie and Katie on our neighbourhood walks. On alternate days, Dommie or Katie would wear harness when we went for our walks. No leash need to be used on either of them. The main purpose was to let them get used to the harness on them before leashing them.
I got to say that Dommie and Katie accepted the harness very well in the neighbourhood walks of last week.
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
or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice
NEVER EVER HAVE CLEAR GLASS WINDOWS WHERE YOUR BIRD IS FLOWN.
COVER COVER THEM PLEASE.
YOU MIGHT NOT BE AS LUCKY AS I WAS.