Two weeks ago, I met Mr. Hilal for the second time when he came to the college to discuss his son’s progress. He immediately recognized me. It took me a couple of seconds to recall our first encounter which was over two years ago when he gave me a lift from Lulu Hypermarket to the Ibri taxi stand in Nizwa Souq. Anyhow, we started chatting as if we were long-lost friends. We exchanged numbers and he promised to invite me to his village to meet his wife and children.
After the last rain in Nizwa and surrounding areas Mr. Hilal invited me to his home for dinner and then a tour of his neighborhood and a visit to Wadi Tanuf. For the first stop, we visited the Falaj Daris, one of five aflaj (canals) irrigation systems in Oman designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites. It is the largest falaj in the country and supplies water to the city of Nizwa and the smaller communities nearby.
After this we headed to Tanuf Wadi, passing by the ruins of Old Tanuf, which I would like to visit on another occasion. About fifteen minutes later we arrived at Tanuf Dam which was full of water from the recent rains.
This dam collects rain water to recharge wells, aquifers, and the Tanuf water bottling plant. I assume that the muddy water goes through some type of filtering system before it is distributed across the country for drinking. After stopping for some photos of the dam we forged on ahead through the water deeper into the wadi.
Eventually, we made our way through to some dryer land and continued along a road next to the wadi. We stopped for some photos of the wadi that now looked like a river making its way through the mountains.
A few more kilometers and the road was flooded and we were forced to ford the wadi again.
We continued down the wadi until we came to some waterfalls. Well, this is how my friends described the water sprouting from the wadi walls.
Finally, we came to an area with a lot of people wading and enjoying the water. By now, I was feeling tired and thankful that my friends didn’t want to go wadi-wading. Instead, we turned and headed back to Nizwa.