Just adore Oman.

Footsteps of a Wanderer

The stunning backdrop of last week’s mammoth Wadi Bih Run triggered memories of many fantastic camping trips in the area and inspired me to share my recommendations now before the weather heats up and renders a night under the stars unbearable.

Where to go

There are some great places to camp here depending on whether you prefer to wake up to mountains, desert or beaches. Some of my favourites are across the border and into Oman, including the area around and into Wadi Bih, although with the recent changes to the visa situation, this is now more difficult and hotel/tour group bookings are needed in advance to cross the border at Dibba.

What to take

Call me a wimp but after several initial uncomfortable camping trips, I have revised my camping checklist to include some key essentials:

  • A pop-up tent (less time faffing with a tent, more to sit with a V&T…

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A Hair-Raising Tale

What is it with hotel hairdryers?

Either they are bolted to the inside of a drawer in the bathroom or those weird tubular ones that gently waft lukewarm air in the general direction of your hair. That is, if you don’t manage to nearly strangle yourself with the bendy tube.

Beware the bendy tube

Beware the bendy tube

Even expensive, yea seven star hotels, see to neglect this one essential item and opt for the crappiest ones available.

Or, then there is the “find the hairdryer” game you have to play in some hotels.

Is it in the drawer in the bathroom? Hmmmm no. Perhaps it’s in the closet where those weird shoe polish things are kept with the sewing kit? Nope. Wait! Found it! It’s in the desk drawer. Of course! How could I be so silly? I always fancied drying my hair while I wrote an email. Doesn’t every gal?

The award for the best hotel hairdryer goes to Park Hyatt Moscow. It was a professional one, with excellent air strength, clearly designed to tame the luscious locks of those Russian beauties who stay there.

This may fall into the category of “white girl problems”, but seriously, how hard can it be?

 

 

 

 

Room With a View…of the carpark

Hotels often have hilarious ideas of what constitutes a “safe” room for a single woman traveling alone.

I was once given a room, far from the elevator, so far in fact I actually got lost looking for it. This hotel had a lovely view from most of its rooms of a nearby temple. No such luck for the traveling lady.

I got a view of the car park.

When I questioned this, I was told it was a “quiet and safe” room. Had there been a fire, the trail of breadcrumbs I left to find my way back would have been toasted. And if by quiet you mean there was literally no one within a five room radius, yeah that succeeded.

I was quickly moved, but it does highlight the issue that in many hotel chains, a “safe” room means away from the hustle of the hotel. Which is a nice concept in principle.

But in reality, the closer I am to the elevator and to people, the safer I feel. Not just for the fire issue, but also it means I am in my room faster.

Some hotel chains, like  Hyatt, have been making a concerted effort in recent times to cater to the needs of the single traveler. They will give you a room close to the elevator (which you can also specify on booking as well as have it noted on your Gold Passport loyalty program profile).

Some hotels, like Bella Sky have women-only floors. Which may be going to the extreme, but it does enhance the sense of safety.

What do you think? What is your idea of “safe and quiet”?

Far from the madding crowds…

It’s a widely held view that a woman traveling alone is in want of a traveling companion.

Incorrect.

Travelling alone has resulted in some of the most rewarding adventures and experiences in my life.

Here I hope to share the ups, the downs and the fabulous of travelling solo.

Enjoy the ride!