Emirati hospitality

Where the north-eastern extremity of the Arabian Peninsula tapers into the mouth of the Persian Gulf geography gets exciting and political boundaries get confusing.

Enclaves within enclaves compete with exclaves to confound the unwary cyclist.

For those with a taste for such things the addition of internal Emirati borders reveals yet further complexity.

Predictably we British must take our fair share of responsibility but this patchwork is at least the result of a commendable effort to ensure borders correspond to the reality of local loyalties on the ground. A starker contrast to the brutal linear creations foisted upon much of Africa is hard to imagine.

My practical considerations were limited to making my way towards Musandam while minimizing visa costs and avoiding dead ends like those I'd encountered in Al Ain

Muscat: The wadi forks

I left the mountains that had beguiled me so and moved from Oman's desert interior to her salty coastal plain.

A different Oman, no longer dominated by the Rub' al Khail's echoing void but by the call of the waves. Fishermen and maritime trade replace goat herds, camels and date farming.