I began my long weekend with the promise of camping and some mild hiking. My first day was spent hiking up to the archaeological site of Bat in Oman to reach the Beehive Tombs. This was my first hike ever, and I was terrified beyond words.
Climbing up the mountain was so scary i felt my muscles tense up and i was literally frozen with fear, but the hike leader was kept close by to make sure that I was safe and following his footsteps and to make a clear path for the climb. He encouraged me every step of the way and helped me overcome my fear and not think of anything else besides taking it one step at a time. What a feeling when i made it to the top and looked down at how far i had climbed up.
Going down was not as difficult as I predicted and the feeling was of such accomplishment of something i never thought of doing before. I know I would not have been able to do this alone, except the right coach came along face my fear, he was very patient and knew exactly when to let me be and when to offer a helping hand. The next part was going to swim in the water, except to get there i had to walk, climb, slide and jump, that was intense because the rocks were different than my previous hike, they were flat and slippery, but I was beginning to trust the experts and know that they know what they are doing and I needed to just listen to them and to their directions and advice on what to do. Finally I reached the heart stopping freezing water. I made it!!! I jumped in the water and what an amazing feeling that was.
We continued our drive to Jabal Shams (Sun Mountain), the highest mountain in the gulf region. We set up camp and the group began their food preparation and I spent an amazing time listening to and participating in conversations about the different experiences about camping and the tricks behind it and how it varies from one area to another in the world and from one culture to another. These conversations helped me not to think about the danger of it or that I was actually sitting out in the wild with nothing around, but of the actual excitement and thrill of it all. They helped me become comfortable enough to sleep in my own tent and feel secure that nothing will happen. They even made meal times fun by roasting fresh coffee at the fire and make tea and breakfast.
The next morning, we began our hike to the abandoned village of Saab Bani Khameis, this used to be the home of about 15 families. Coach Ali And Saif pushed us to the limit in every way possible. Hiking on the edge of a mountain is not my idea of a relaxing weekend, but i challenged myself to try something new and trust the people i was with (as much as i could) and here i was. I climbed through narrow rocky paths walked on the edge of the mountain, sat at the cliff and all i could do was keep on going because i was not going to quit. I was determined to make it to the end with as little complaining as possible.
We reached the abandoned homes and it was then decided that we will continue to the secret lake. Once there we continued to the secret cave and that was no easy feat for me. I had to climb through a hole and crawl into the cave then jump down on my coach’s shoulders (Sorry coach Saif, I hope I was not that heavy on you) and lean on Coach Ali’s supporting hands. At one-point i just wanted to cry, but i laughed along and felt like I was one of the goats from the mountain. Sitting on the edge of the cave looking down at the lake was truly amazing. I did it again! Now it was time to begin our journey back up the mountain, if i thought it was tough making it to the cave, i didn’t know what i had coming. The wind was beginning to pick up speed and the temperatures were dropping. I was exhausted, my muscles were failing me and i was so out of breath. I rested more on the way back, but the views were spectacular. Looking out at the Arabian Grand Canyon was such a great feeling of awe.
Four hours later with lots of words of encouragement, we made it back to the top. At this point all i wanted was a hot shower and a comfortable bed. If someone would have told me when i first started this journey that i would be doing all the things i did, i would have laughed at them.
This taught me endurance and that i can do it and trust the experts with my instincts, I learned a lot about nature and met some amazing new people….. in summary I know now that I can do it if I set my mind to it and I will do more in the future.