November 27, 2011 – This was actually my second visit to Wadi Bani Khalid. The first was in January 2009 and so it’s two years past the last time I stepped to this hidden oasis of Oman – called the Mukal Cave and Water Pools. I’m excited to get back to the place and now with my family.
Getting to Wadi Bani Khalid was an enjoyable ride as the road went up and up and down and down.
We were actually crossing the highest mountains which enclave the area.
A beautiful scenery indeed. Here you can see the mountains with different colors and shapes of rocks and cliffs.
But when we finally arrived, a number of vehicles were parking in the narrow area of the riverbank entrance. Since we find difficulty, we just park our cars further and took a hike in reaching the pools.
However, a packed of people (locals and tourists) were settling in the wide area of the wadi making the area crowded and noisy. This place has became famous and an ideal tourist attractions since it was published in local and international travel guide books and magazines. We put up our plastic mat near the riverbank and took our meals while busy witnessing at other people activities.
After sometime, Jesse and Andrei along with Catherine and Gerry decided to go beyond the rocky cliffs and get to the interior of the wadi and find a nice spot for swimming. While Melo, Enrico, Anyah and me were left behind and stayed at the concrete shelter/ gazibo situated on top of the biggest boulders.
Jesse and Andrei were really enjoying as they swam and walked upstream through shallow pools and over slippery rocks. At the end, a small crack in big rocks appeared a small waterfall that was just wide enough to sit in between the crevice. They have found the great spot for a private dip.
Well, I remember the last time I came here in 2009. Luckily, we were the only few people in the site.
As you get closer to the riverbank, the wonderful and spectacular landscape of the oasis came into glimpse.
There you can see the gorgeous oasis with turquoise blue pools of fresh water in the middle of barren and dry mountains.
The water is still clear, refreshing, and very inviting to take a plunge and swim.
That same water was also used in the nearby plantation using the falaj or irrigation channels that were common in Oman.
This once empty Gazibos were now converted into local concession and refreshment area.
This shabby little thatch-top umbrella thingy has now developed into a concrete mini-gazibo.
There were no changing rooms and it’s fairly cold so we didn’t bother to swim.
We just explore the place and went hiking beyond the cliffs and scrambling up the rocky terrain.
Then took a little rest at the top of the cliff.
The view of the whole wadi at this perspective was really fantastic and amazing!
I asked my friend to take some photos of the beautiful and emerald pools behind me.
Likewise, the whole oasis too.
After several minutes of hiking, we felt the fresh air from the canyon and saw the magnificent boulder structures of huge mountains.
I stopped for a while and have picture taking with some of my friends.
Then, we climbed up to the mouth of the cave. There’s a concrete and well-painted staircase provided for an easy ascend.
Along with the team, we all managde to get into the initial opening of the cave. It was very dark and we really need flashlights.
We only used our camera flash to see our way. There were locals who also guide us inside.
However, the tunnel gets too tight to go on in the dark, and so we returned back.
The hiking experience gave us a deep feeling of satisfaction as we were able to explore the inner part of Wadi Bani Khalid.
Just like before, we left the place when the sun came down and was about to disappear in the horizon. We took some memory shots before we returned to our car further down the wadi.
Taking photos was actually a good way to wrap up and cherish our great adventure experience of Wadi Bani Khalid.