But I’m not in Norway. I’m not even in Europe. I’m in Oman, in Musandam, the most northerly tip of the Arabian peninsula.
The weekend’s adventure started with a drive from Dubai through an impressive sandstorm, which enveloped the car and left miniature dunes on the road. Swallowed up by the dust we arrived at the Omani border just in time for the sand on our car to be turned into a thick mud mask by a downpour. And that was pretty much the weather pattern for the weekend.
Don’t get me wrong, as a Brit I’m used to the odd downpour, but this being the Middle East, and a desert, I didn’t have any waterproofs. Baden Powell would not have been impressed. I was not prepared.
The practical bit
Where to camp: 1. Beach at Khasab; 2. Beach at Khawr an Najd - turn left off Wadi Sal Al A’la road at military range and take steep track over mountain; 3. Acacia forest at end of Wadi Sal Al A’la road.
Leave nothing behind. If building a fire dig a hole and cover it up after when the embers have cooled. For everything else bag it and bin it.
Boat trip: There are several options and plenty of companies offering similar trips. We travelled with Khasab Travel and Tours (+968 2673 0464). You can join a scheduled dhow for 20-25 people costing 200 Dhs per adult for a full day and 100 Dhs for a child. Children under five are free. You can charter your own dhow for 1,500 Dhs for a four hour tour. Note: Although the local currency is Omani Rials, UAE Dirhams are widely accepted.
Visa: Tourist visas are available at the border crossing. You will also need to arrange Oman car insurance, which can be done at the border too, or in advance.
Note of warning: You can cross into Oman at the Tibat border post, and back again, but at time of writing you can not create a circular route through to Dibba, unless you are an Omani or UAE national, due to border restrictions at that crossing.
And remember: Don’t forget your passport, or your swimming costume.