Jabal Shams (Mountain of Sun) is highest mountain of Oman with its peak reaching over 2200m a.s.l. in the south part of Hajar range approx. 180km from Muscat. Narrow graded track winds up its steep slopes, connects few small mountain villages and brings tourists and visitors in 4 wheel drives to the edge of spectacular Grand Canyon. From village of Sal, just few stone huts really, snakes narrow touristic walking path along its steep walls with magnificent views to abandoned village with small lake and terasses. Only small groups of visitors take the path, but definetly none of them take their bikes with them. We were the first...
So we did it... We proved that it can be cycled, but it is not for faint hearted; for good riders only. There are also lot of bits where we walked. Actually on the way back I got really tired, partly probably because of sickness I did not recover yet. I had to walk and push the bike up the hill on graded road – Peter had to wait for me!
I do not want to spend much time with write up, just points (and of course we love u so we want to share :)) ):
Thursday 6:50 – calling of the nature satisfied, toxical waste dumped behind the bush (“rush before locals’ll come to sell key rings”) 6:52 - locals came to sell key rings 7:10 – Peter is proud owner of 2 key rings (2 omr per piece! - bargain) 8:30 – breakfast, fuffing around, set off. 9:00 – pics on the ridge
10:00 – in the village on the edge, 1 boy came to adore Peter’s Scott; then ride and walk and walk and ride and on and on, gorgous views etc. Some sections are more for “No Way” Ray the trialist, not for us, but we do what we can, jumping the steps, twisting between rocks, pushing saddle to the stomach to get over jumps, once the torny bush almost knocked me off... then bike on the shoulder etc. etc. ... Peter singing about beauty of nature 11:00-sh – In abondoned village (bikes were left some 500m behind). The clouds are gathering above the mountains, goats in bushes above us. I showed Peter how to get to the terasses and to the lake. I rested as I was really knackered. He returned after 3mins “I’ll see it next time”. Way back - it is more exhausing, more walking, almost everything uphill. Fortunatly not raining but we could hear thunder often now and then. 12:20 – back in village, men having lunch invited us and shifted in front of us huge bowl of rice with lamb “very nice, very nice, shukran but matar is coming we must rush to sayyaras, ma’salaama” 13:00 – by cars, no rain.... MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. We were first to ride “The rim walk”. Mabrook.
Friday 13:00ish, by phone “...man that was fantastic... even if not fully ridable, we should do that again” “we should come back and rake some parts so we can ride more...” “no way!” (that was me) :)) ovo