No one can not live on dates alone, although the intrepid Bedu and other explorers often subsisted largely on dates for long periods of time when traversing the desert. In Arabian Sands, Wilfred Thesiger’s epic account of five years traversing the wilds, he confesses to hoping he never sees another date and certainly could never eat one.
Oman merits at least a week of your vacation time. However, that is not always possible. Even a visit of a few days provides opportunities to explore some of the historical villages and forts within an easy drive of Muscat. For the most part, the main roads are excellent and marked in Arabic and English. If you only have one day, then I would recommend Nizwa, Bahla and Jabrin. If possible, include a visit to the lovely hillside town of Misfah. Continue reading “Oman | Great Day Trips from Muscat”
Until I started traveling in the Middle East and North Africa, I had no appreciation for dates (the fruit, that is). The lone boxes purchased to make Christmas cookies often languished well beyond their “sell by” date. Better late than never: I am now a convert.
Omanis consume dates from sun up to sunrise with the average person eating almost 1/2 pound a day. Dates are an excellent source of protein, vitamins and mineral and their high sugar content (40–80 percent) protects them against bacterial contamination and means they can be stored for years. Continue reading “Foodie Friday | Oman”
Charles Darwin and the Galápagos are inextricably linked in many people’s mind. After all, this archipelago and its inhabitants gave birth to his theory of evolution. Darwin only spent five weeks on the islands, but what he observed resulted in his masterpiece On the Origin of Species. Santa Cruz Island is the most populated island in the Galápagos and home to the Charles Darwin Research Center. Continue reading “Galápagos Close-Up: Santa Cruz Island”
Only a few miles away as the pelican flies, Santiago Island is as different from its neighbor Rábida as night from day. Its stark cratered surface reminded me of the moon. Sea lions, marine iguanas and American Oyster Catchers were abundant, and we saw fur seals (which are actually sea lions – a fact that caused great confusion) for the first time.
Rábida Island is relatively small, with steep rocky cliffs and only one beach where it is possible to land. The distinctive deep red color of its sand is due to the high iron content in the lava. The island is known for these maroon beaches and its abundance of birds. (The small black bird mid-photo above is a penguin!) Continue reading “Galápagos Close-Up: Rábida Island”