Sunset in the Desert

Last New Year’s Eve, we were in Oman.

More precisely, on the dunes that surrounded our hotel.

oman dune desert travel
the way there, during the afternoon

I get particularly worried when driving on dunes (it’s my third time) because the local drivers always think you’re looking for an adrenaline high, which I am not. This time was slightly better because our driver was warned and warned and nagged and warned about not scaring us, so he was less crazy than the others had been. Slightly.

oman dune desert travel
Can you see the drop on the left? And our hotel, waaaay down there?

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Desert dunes are breathtaking.

oman dune desert travel

They look solid and strong, but when you step on them you feel as if you could sink forever.

oman dune desert travel

And they move – it was incredibly windy and you could see the sand streaming off the top of the dunes and flowing to settle where the wind wouldn’t pick it up, until all the sand had moved to that particular spot and it found itself in the wind again.

Dunes move.

oman dune desert travel

The similarities between the sand in the desert and the sand at the beach are incredible. And that makes me wonder how similar are water and wind? Very, I believe.

The vast sage desert undulates with almost imperceptible tides like the oceans.

Frank Waters

oman dune desert travel
My sister and I

When the sun starts to set, the colours change so fast you that, if you’re a photographer, you just have to keep taking photos because every moment is unique.

oman dune desert travel
I thought the ridge of this dune looked uncannily like the air sac of a portuguese man-o-war jellyfish. Could it still be connected to the wind?
oman dune desert travel
so curvy

 

I don’t see the desert as barren at all; I see it as full and ripe. It doesn’t need to be flattered with rain. It certainly needs rain, but it does with what it has, and creates amazing beauty.

Joy Harjo

oman dune desert travel

oman dune desert travel sunset
there it is, the last sunset of 2015

My favourite moment is this one. When the sun has gone and the sky starts layering its colours.

oman dune desert travel sunset

And then, before it started getting cold, we went down. Down the dune. Straight down. Engine off. Nearly vertical.

oman drive dune desert travel
Can you feel my distress as I took the photo??

Luckily, there was a happy dromedary waiting for us at the bottom.

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If you don’t die of thirst, there are blessings in the desert. You can be pulled into limitlessness, which we all yearn for, or you can do the beauty of minutiae, the scrimshaw of tiny and precise. The sky is your ocean, and the crystal silence will uplift you like great gospel music, or Neil Young.

Anne Lamott

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