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This Is Northern New South Wales

I’m in love with Oman. O’Man!

As a merchant, each year I travel to do  business in the carpet-making regions of Iran Pakistan etc. and thought this year I would take a Holiday after that. Nothing too expensive or too far off this eastern track ‘cos I hate flying. I had heard of Oman, Muscat, and Zanzibar and the fabled right hand points of Al Ashkarah and Ras al Djinn, extreme northern points of the Indian Ocean.

Omanis are the Arab Watermen, the historic Sinbad sailors, and the Maldivians told me they descended from them. Under Islam short-term marriages were made by these sailors as they plied the North Indian Ocean Tradewinds. They also traded African slaves from Zanzibar where the Sultan actually lived. In short a lucrative sea-trading empire: My type of people. In Iran they are the only Arabs respected by the Persians because they had their own empire before the stupidity of the oil.

I also found out the Omanis were the only middle-easteners not to have been vassals of the Ottoman Turks. They repelled the Portuguese and English at the height of their powers; A shared pride with the Afghans but watermen: My sort of place.

A little out of season but surf discovery is all about hope. Well it’s the secondary season as it has 2 monsoonal seasons as well as the leftovers of the Southern storms that pump swell into WA and Indo. But things happen when one travels with a reason, while the tourists gape wide eyed as their pockets get shredded.

I arrive in Muscat and pick up The Times of Oman. Front page news is “The weeping Neem tree of Salaleh”. Biblical miracles still happen and I’m amping. I hear about the magic magnetic road that will take a vehicle uphill – no motor. Obviously the Goddess is Dancing in the heads of these healthy looking people.

I don’t find good surf beyond a few right-hand points with small Wategos type waves. But the bonus – No Surfers – Pure Discovery. That’s how it feels and I love it. Nick and I spent a week in West Sumba last year with not another tourist in sight. Yes!

Fish salad and rice in an inexpensive trattoria, super friendly fishermen, absolutely clean, no flies, mosquitos  bad smells, healthy vibrant children, the sort of town surfers make their own. At night the breakers come alive with phosphorescence like the foreshore is on fire. Just wave your foot through the sand and it spreads stars like a Magic Wand. What a place! If that wasn’t enough sensory load the turtles labouriously drag themselves out of the water, lay eggs, cover them and when the giant slow creatures get back to sea, they take off! The egg-laying and covering process takes about 2 hours.

thanks to Milton Cater from The Rug Shop Bangalow