11 Feb Oman: Far from the madding crowd

Source: Macfilos

Taken in the Muttrah Souk, in Muttrah, Muscat, Oman on 22 December 2018

The Muttrah Souq, or market, is big and is at its busiest in the late afternoon and into the evening. While there are tourists there, most of the market’s customers are locals — particularly groups of women in the gold souq buying jewellery for weddings and other special events.

It was late afternoon when I saw this pretty young girl with her parents. I indicated that I wanted to take her picture and they were delighted. She looks rather bemused as I got down on one knee to take the shot. It really sums up Oman for me — a very colourful, interesting and friendly country.

Heading off the Gulf

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, let me explain why I was in Oman in late December. I live in Terrigal on the Central Coast of New South Wales. It is a beautiful place to live except over the Christmas/New Year holiday weeks. It is high summer. The schools are on holiday and the heat is on. Terrigal becomes a very different place. The population of the town swells. The shops are full, the cafes and restaurants are full. There is nowhere to park. OK, these are all first-world problems, but I am not asking for sympathy as my wife and I decided to head off to Oman on the Persian Gulf.

It’s a long way to go to escape the crowds, and, although

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