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Travel

Flat tire in Oman

2007_4_4_Flat_tire_in_Oman_files_shapeimage_2.pngThe last two days of my stay in Oman I rented a four-wheel drive and drove down the coast from Muscat to Sur. I had bought a book, “Off-road in Oman”, and figured that if there was a book with this title, then it was o.k. to go off-road in Oman. Surprisingly, the coast road was indeed partly off-road, since it was in the process of being replaced by a dual-carriageway freeway, and sometimes the process of tearing down the old road had gotten ahead of the process of building the new one.

I took an off-road to Wadi as Suwayh, and got this flat tire on the way back, after having over-enthusiastically plunged my way down the road the book suggested for returning to the main highway, and recognized too late that it was washed out. I returned to the main dirt road, ascending some scary boulder-strewn patches, and either suffered, or discovered, the flat tire there. No problem, as you can see.

The rest of the trip down I decided I need to stick to the main road, but had a lovely swim in the ocean, a late-afternoon stroll around Wadi ash Shab, and arrived at the Sur Beach Hotel in time to claim the last room. I dozed, then went into town for dinner, and stumbled on driving around the town afterwards on the road to the beach where the turtles lay their eggs, Ras al Jinz. It was an hour drive around the long bay, and I got there around 9:30, the last moment as turns out when the turtles were there. An Omani guide greeted me and took me down to the beach. The moon was glittering on the see, and all the way at the end we found a solitary turtle, something like 5 feet wide, depositing miraculous white spheres in a large shallow pit in the sand. We spotted another turtle dragging herself back down the beach until a wave wafted her out to sea.

Driving back through Sur I circled the city, the moon shining over dhows both used and rotting. What a wonderful day—the first time in a long time that I have taken an adventure alone with no timetable.

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About Bill McCallum

I was born in Australia and came to the United States to pursue a Ph. D. in mathematics at Harvard University, met my wife, and never went back. I am a professor at the University of Arizona, working in number theory and mathematics education.

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