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Oh Man... What Now?

Updated: Apr 5, 2022

The plan for our GDT around the world tour has undergone a revision or two along the way. The “original” plan (aka. The earliest version I remember) was to start and end on New Year’s Eve at Automatic Slims in New York City – a comfortably rowdy watering hole owned by some of the coolest people Sara Baldwin introduced me to (which is a pretty huge compliment thinking about all of the awesome people on that list), international man of mystery David Z. and his lovely wife Davie. But James wasn’t that into the whole NYC thing, so he eventually suggested we start in Baja at Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo Cantina on New Years. Solid plan by every measure. Then David Lee Roth announced his final retirement shows in Vegas (if you haven’t listened to his retirement announcement, it’s amazingly, perfectly Diamond Dave). So we decided to start there. Then those shows were cancelled & I was asked to work through New Years, and blah, blah, blah… things changed.

So we revised our plans to launch out adventures in Casablanca on March 1st because Casablanca seemed like a cool place to meet & James really wanted to see Morocco. And now it’s the end of February and the sale of James’s apartment is taking a little more time than expected and we’re going to push back and meet in Cairo on March 5th.

So I have a week of unplanned time and no idea what to do with it.

I reached out to a few friends who I thought might be able to run out on a moment’s notice and do something ridiculous, but everyone seems to have an obligation of some scale keeping them from doing so. So I’m definitely on my own. Time to turn to Google Flights and work that “Explore” feature!

After a couple of hours of digging through what flights are available and ensuring that I can get to Cairo on time, the top prospects are Georgia, Oman, or hopping amongst some of the Portuguese and Spanish Islands off of Africa.

Given that Mr. Putin seems to be losing his shit on the border of Ukraine, Georgia seems like a bad call right now. And while I love hopping around from beach to beach, I am going to be on the move almost daily for the next 6-7 weeks, so a little bit of stability might be the way to go.

OK – Oman is pulling ahead for the win. Apparently there are some amazing hikes just outside of Muscat, and I found a killer place to stay right on the beach for less than $40 a day. Decision made. Reservations made. I'm off to Oman.

What a good call Oman turned out to be. I really needed to catch up on a few things (including sleep) and Muscat was a perfect home base to work from. There was a major holiday the day after I arrived, so the beachfront was lively and festive all night. I was able to walk the beach every day and check out the birds and fishermen doing their thing. I spent a few years of my childhood living in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, so the melody of the call to prayer from the mosques is a soothing and familiar sound that brings back a raft of great memories. And on my last full day I took the entire day to explore a Wadi (a water filled ravine in the middle of the desert) about an hour outside of town.

The hike through the Wadi was beautiful enough to justify this entire adventure. After a quick stop at a beautiful desert oasis along the way, my trip to Wadi Shab started with a brief boat trip across the mouth of the waterway. Hiking up into the canyon I found myself strolling through small farms on either side of a rocky dry riverbed. Climbing higher and wandering farther, I rounded a corner and found a deep pool of cool blue water. As I continued winding my way along the water’s edge I eventually reached a spot where the only way forward was through. So I left my shoes and my bag behind and hopped into the jade green water. Swimming upstream, each bend brought a new, spectacular view. The refreshingly cold water was a sharp contrast to the heat of the red rocks that towered above me. And eventually I reached the end of the road.

Or so I thought. On the left side of the back wall of the wadi there way a small passageway that I actually heard before I saw. The sound of rushing water drew me closer until I saw the glow of green light from the other side of the crack in the rocks. There was just enough room above the waterline to squeeze my head through, and after about 15 yards of carefully working my way between the rock walls I had transported myself into an incandescent jewel box of a cavern with emerald water cascading down off of the bright red rock walls forming a pool of light that I could hardly wrap my head around. I’ve been in some beautiful places, but this is just magical.

I had that space to myself for about 20 minutes before I heard a couple making their way in through the tight passage. As they entered I took a couple of photos for them and then started making my way back through the crack in the rocks, turning the space over to them so that they could enjoy the magic in solitude as I had.

If this is just one of the secrets that Oman holds, then I’ll definitely be back.


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