Off the beaten track. On the coast of Oman.

The unforgettable lightness of being

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These are the consequences of strange coincidences, improvised situations, spontaneous changes of plan or unpredictability, which lead us on trips to the very special places and the unforgettable moments of life. It is often closed doors or closed borders that open new doors or unfamiliar borders.

These are the consequences of strange coincidences, improvised situations, spontaneous changes of plan or unpredictability, which lead us on trips to the very special places and the unforgettable moments of life. It is often closed doors or closed borders that open new doors or unfamiliar borders.

I remember dark, cold winter days in Germany, which were shaped by our dreams, plans and thoughts. We wanted to travel east together, by land to India. I remember months of preparations. And I remember situations that left me desperate. I remember how you calmed me down when I lost my nerve. I remember how you encouraged me when I got scared. I remember our joy in it - or our fear of it - not being able to control our lives any longer, giving up control of our lives, drifting from a journey into uncertainty and being completely alienated.

Shortly after Christmas. Unrest in Baluchistan. Dead in Quetta. Our visa for Iran in work, the visa for India already in the passport. We should not get a visa for Pakistan because of the disturbances. No answers to our mails. No busy phones at the embassy in Frankfurt. No reactions to our written requests. If we had been better organized, we would have found the only right contact in Berlin. We did not do it.

No matter. It is April. We're leaving. Maybe there is a way to organize the missing visa on the way. They do not exist. Not without our second passports, which are on the way to your friend in Dubai . This, however, is another story. So we should not travel to Pakistan. Inshallah. That's how it should be. And so a ship has to take us from the south of Iran to Dubai. Another - a bigger one from there to Bombay. This said ship only goes once a month. In Iran you calculate that we will not reach the former ship. The later reaches Dubai in October. But what to do in this time? The Bling Bling Shoppaholic Plastic Superlative Dubai does not interest us. Not for longer than a stop over. And especially not in mercilessly hot midsummer. You look at our little crumpled map of the world and together we think about how and where we can spend the weeks until the departure of the cargo ship. We quickly agree. We drive to Oman.

With some obstacles, we travel unscheduled but full of anticipation across the border from the United Arab Emirates in the Sultanate of Oman. It is September. It is unbearably hot. And much moister. The glowing air shimmers before our eyes. You try to ignore your sweaty clothes. I still wear a light headscarf. Unlike Iran, it's not a duty, but my gut feeling tells me it's appropriate. Not so in Muscat. Here we spend some relaxing days to celebrate your birthday. I give you a break. Three days without decisions. Three days without sweating. Three days without driving. Three days in a hotel. Three days air conditioning. We spend your birthday extremely decadent at the pool of the hotel. Lethargic from the heat we drink the first glass of wine for many weeks. In the evening you invite me to dinner at the harbor. I enjoy you. We look at the sultan's yacht. And drink more wine.

After three days we realize that we do not need all this. It burns under our unusually clean fingernails. We have to get back in our truck. Back on the dusty roads. Back on the way to the unknown. We leave Muscat heading south. It was not so humid there. You drive. The strong hot wind blows you around the ears. The scorching heat is shimmering on the road drawn with the ruler.

A few hours ago, we left the port city of Sur behind us. You stop at the roadside. Say you want to look at the sea. Now. Here. You turn off and we drive in the direction of the high dunes, behind which we suspect the sea. We would not drive the sand track with an ordinary car. We are grateful for our truck, which digs smoothly through the deep hot sand. We drive for about half an hour and then we see him. The beach. Our beach. Our bay. We become aware of yellow sand, turquoise waters and golden cliffs, a ruined fishing hut made of stone with nets to dry.

In the middle of this bay, at some distance from the small hut, you will park our house by the sea. I open the doors and windows. Without talking to me, you know what I think. Here we stay. Nobody forces us to continue. This beach should be ours. At least we'll borrow it for a few days. About ten days we can live completely self-sufficient. Enough drinking water in the truck. Enough to eat. Enough sun for the stream. You and me. Me and you. The sea. We do not need more. You build our awning. So we get shade and protection from the merciless sun. The wind is pleasantly refreshing.

In the afternoon we go hand in hand to the water. You cool off. I am watching you. And I'm glad about your playfulness in the surf. Your hair has become bright in the last few months. I can not go into the water. Not yet. A fall from the head of the truck in the Arabian stone desert, three freshly sutured wounds on my legs - another story - make me look at the waves with longing. You come from the surf. You grab me and carry me gently into the water. Stretching my legs allowed me to cool off in the crystal clear ocean. You carry me far out and submerge me. Only the connected legs are not. I've folded my arms tightly around your neck. I kiss your shoulder and taste the salt on your warm skin. I'll tell you later how much I love you for this moment.

On the way back to the truck we discover big tracks in the sand - and we both know exactly what they mean for us. You smile at me. We have a mission for this night!
In the evening we sit in the sunset and watch a horde of dolphins swimming like choreographed in front of our eyes. It's almost too cheesy. I cook, we eat. You can not buy wine in Oman, but after our abstinence in Iran we do not miss anything. We share our last can of coke as the most precious red wine - and are happy.

When it gets dark, we start our mission for the night. Like prince and princess crown us with headlamps and walk down to the beach again. You hold my hand. We follow the bulldozer tracks, sneaking quietly and carefully through the still warm sand. It is pitch black but warm. The moon will rise soon.

In Ras-al-Had we learned how to observe giant tortoises without disturbing them. There! Sand is thrown through the air in a steady rhythm. We approach slowly, hold our breath and see the huge Green Turtle. We only illuminate them from behind and watch the Panzertier's efforts excitedly. Is she building a real nest? Or just a deception nest to irritate the enemies of the precious eggs? Watching the poor heavy animal in its efforts brings us to our pain threshold. The movements seem to be difficult for him. You want to help him. But nothing there. You embrace me from behind and we are amazed. It should only be a Tasuchungsnest!

We go on and discover many more of the great turtles. There! This builds another form, a real nest? We watch reverently and are rewarded with watching the proud mother laying hundreds of eggs. With you alone on this beach in the dark night experiencing this gigantic natural spectacle, I begin to cry. You leave me. And keep me firmer. After a few hours, we trudged exhausted up the embankment back to our truck, which guarded the starry beach. Blessed are we sleeping.

In the morning we sleep long and have breakfast late. We have visitors. A few children of the village look after the right. The approximately ten-year-olds are curious, extremely friendly, a bit shy, but after being initially reluctant to show our truck. The eyes are big, the amazement even bigger. We can barely talk, but the boys entertain us the whole afternoon gorgeous. As a tall, blond man, you are at the center of the children. They have so much fun with you. With emotion and love, I watch you roaring with them in the sand. The boys come to visit us every day from now on. They belong to this beach. The beach is theirs. At some point they will be proud fishermen, just like their fathers.
These also pass by in the afternoon. They hand us freshly caught tuna. A gift. And they go again. The Omanis are an incredibly warm, carefree people. The sultan is good to them. I bring tea to their hut, where they mend their nets. And in the evening everyone is gone again. I take the fish and fry it in our outdoor kitchen, baking bread. You read and write. Together we enjoy the feast in the sunset.

I ask you if we have ever experienced these days had not a lot of things happened that we had not planned. Where are we? When are we? We are here. And we are now. We are one. You with you. Me with me. We with us. We with the beach. We feel the being. Being that demands nothing. Being that does not compare with what has been. Being that does not want better. Being, which does not have to be changed. Being as you can not design it. Being just there ... and good.

The next morning I ask myself at the sea, however, if we will experience this unforgettable lightness of being in another place. But then I discover traces in the sand and move this question to tomorrow. For tonight we have a mission.

  1. Wonderful!

  2. Rafael Meyer

    Hello Jennifer and Peter,

    your reports are really captivating and this blog will not let me go for days.
    I'm also planning several trips to the Middle East in mid-2015 and 2016.
    Do you find the situation down there dangerous at the moment? Are you only traveling with groups or alone? What should you look for in the Middle East?

    Greetings from France

    • Hello Rafael,
      forgive the late reply. That somehow went down.
      The Oman is extremely safe, I would not worry about that. Iran is totally safe for tourists. Of course you have to pay attention to current news, but much is not as it is described in the media. Especially the coverage of Iran is always completely absurd.
      We always travel alone.
      I would always read the security warnings of the Foreign Office ... but also there do not panic before all warnings. In the Muslim countries you will be overwhelmed by the incredible hospitality and just let yourself be carried away.
      Best regards, Jen and Peter

  3. Thank you for the wonderful article!
    Your blog is a great inspiration!

    LG Margarete

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