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Wadi Shab, with the many pools, Tiwi, Oman, April 2004.

Wadi Shab, girl for scale above some of the water holes.

Wadi Shab, located near Tiwi, a two hours drive SE of Muscat. The bluf colours of limestones are contrasting with the green colours of plants, especially palm trees. There are many waterholes, explaining the abundant trees. The sun is very bright and it is warm.

It takes only 30 minutes to walk to the far end where there are deep waterholes suitable for swimming. At the far end there is a cave you can only enter by swimming. Depending on the water level you may have to swim underwater for a few meters to get inside the cave.

At the time we were there, in April 2004, the temperature was 36 degrees Celsius so it was a bit warm. The pools were very refreshing. It is a bit of a tourist spot, both for Omanis and Westerners. It must be a standard trip for tourist groups. However, tourists don't stay long, usually it is too hot and there is no wind in the sheltered valley. The Omanis tend to be men and boys. An extra T-shirt is sufficient for Western girls to go bathing, Omanis are quickly getting used to bathing women. On their beaches near the big hotels there are no restrictions.

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