Bilad Sayt walk (Balaad Sayeed)
A nice walk through a gorge to Bilad Sayt .
Updated October 2005
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From Muscat to the beginning of the walk: about 173 km.
The drive through wad Banin Awf is very scenic and leads you into the heart of the Oman mountains. The gravel track leads through the wadi bed often with pools and running water left, right and crossing the track.
Refreshing after the long drive from Muscat to stop and sit in the shade
of one of the big boulders. Always check those rocks as you will not be
the first one to sit there and some old rock carvings showing hunting
people and animals could be hiding right at the back
It is still a bit of a drive to the start of the walk to Bilad Sayt
The real climb out of the belly of the mountains starts right after the village of Mannah (N23 12.966 E57 24.236) and leads you up after some spectacular steep hairpins to breathtaking views of the snakegorge below.
The start of this walk is also a nice picnic and rest area in the shade
of the trees and with always some water running in de wadi. A steep
rockface is at the western side of the road with some old terraces
surrounded by crumbling walls in front. There is a path upwards and the
best way to get up is by walking into the corner and slightly heading to
the right. A number of steps will become visible behind some very large
boulders. The stairs climb up along the steep rock wall with a small falaj cut
into it. The track leads sideways along a dripping green rockface into
the gorge. Be careful as the path is narrow and could be slippery when
wet. In the gorge the track opens up and is easy going.
For Geologist: the massive limestones are part of the PreCambrian Buah (Kharus) Formation.
A few hundred metres from the start the gorge forks. Follow the right
side, which will lead you very rapidly out into the open again
surprisingly at the edge of the green fields below the village of Bilad
Follow the path leading into the village. There will be many curious,
but very friendly faces looking.on you turn left, back to the car.
The well paved path will lead you to the palm groves behind the village
and right there is a path to the left into the terraced gardens, between
the stone walls and falaj systems.
|If you follow the path more or less at the same level you will get to a concrete falaj crossing a wadi. Follow the falaj across and left at the other side of the wadi.|
A walk more in the open with beautiful views of the village perched on
the rocks to the left.
|The walk following the falaj takes you to a wadi where you turn right again following the wadi downslope and a few hundred meters further into a narrow gorge again. The gorge joins the same that you came up in and at the junction turn right to return to the place where you left the car.|
|Always in the shade and sometimes with a bit of water trickling through this is a very relaxing way to explore this beautiful area.|
|To have another view, go back along road and just after football field turn sharp left and follow winding road to a nice viewpoint above the village.|
@ J. Schreurs January 2005, October 2005