29/30 October 2010

5 people, 3 large stuffed animals, 2 cars, and enough camping equipment for 40 people, decided to break free of the oppressive city heat and head for the cool of the mountains.


The long drive to the Masafi area was, let’s face it, dull, but utterly worth the crisp cool air that hit us on arrival. Having stopped for a delicious cheap curry in Dhiad, we arrived at possible camping spot No. 1 after dark. The Offroad Guidebook promised pools for swimming, but after a short night hike down into the wadi bed to where the pools were, we discovered that the pools weren’t – we had arrived before the rain!
So we continued onwards and upwards another half hour to a high plateau, where to our delight there was a perfect smooth, tree-lined camping spot…which was unfortunately already occupied by 100 school children. Finally, at approaching 10pm, we settled on an equally perfect camping spot, sufficiently far away from the young ones to be able to crack open a beer or two and begin to truly relax.
Following a lovely evening round the camp fire, and a freezing night trying to sleep (some of us cursing our no-sleeping-bag decision), we woke bright and early and followed the ever intrepid Thomas up to the top of a nearby peak.


The views were spectacular, and the temperature was comfortable; it was hunger which finally drove us back to camp.


After a leisurely feast we packed up and headed down the rocky mountain track and then into Wadi Tayyibah. We stopped at the first point which promised pools, and after passing the beautiful palm gardens of the village of Tayyibah, began climbing up a narrow valley in search.

Tayyibah Tayyibah

This hunt for pools turned out to be much more fun than finding them would have been, as the valley provided a great scrambling route, complete with beautiful rock formations, ancient ruins, and some technically challenging moments (well, for the less Austrian amongst us anyway!).

Rachael Tom
Tom Rachael

After mastering the steep boulders, we rested for a few minutes in the shade before starting our descent. Climbing down always proves a different challenge, sometimes it’s obviously not too easy to decide where to go…. 😉

A happy couple of hours of climbing up and down, we returned to the cars, tired and thirsty but with big smiles on our faces.


Next we thought we’d explore the area a bit more – the road map marked a “Grand Canyon”, so we headed towards this, and found it conveniently located with a view point just off the main road.
While this would’ve been enough for most, we wanted to explore it more thoroughly. We could see a road winding along at the bottom, and wanted to drive along it… so we did!

We found ourselves in a beautiful secluded wadi bed with high vertical cliffs, and this provided a quality off-roading route.

In the “Grand Canyon

When we got to the stage we thought we probably could take the cars further, but maybe shouldn’t, we continued on foot – a very pleasant wander through the lush green plantations.


Another glance at the road map showed an extremely tempting looking wriggly route right through the mountains, not far from where we were. But an hour later, having searched and searched, with the help of 5 pairs of eyes and a GPS, we still hadn’t found it. Reluctantly we gave up and headed to Masafi for a much needed late lunch. Black clouds gathered on the other side of the mountain bringin rain to the coastal area of Fujairah, but it didn’t stop us heading for another “peak”!

Last Peak

With full tummies and tired smiles, we took in one more final view point, just above Masafi, before heading home towards the setting sun.


rb / thg

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