Every training program should include at least one rest day a week. When I set up my B210K (Bridge-to-10K) penguin version, I scheduled a run for every second day. On non-run days, I do a 45 minute workout of aerobics, yoga, or biking with one day on the weekend (Thursday or Friday in Oman) for a rest day. This is not only a day to recover from training but also a day to visit some of the nearby towns and tourist attractions.
This weekend’s day trip was a visit to Nizwa. I got up early to catch the ONTC (Oman National Transport Company) bus at Ibri City Hospital which is located within walking distance of my place. The official scheduled time for the bus is 7 o’clock. In reality the bus arrives any time between 6:45 and 7:15, but the driver doesn’t hang around looking for passengers. So, if you want to take the bus you have to arrive early to be on the safe side. In addition, it doesn’t stop at the bus shelter on the main street in front of the hospital or at the entrance. It stops at the far side of the public parking lot. (Look for the ONTC sign, and then wait under the palm tree directly across from it.) The bus pulled up to the tree at 6:50 and I began my rest day. The road from Ibri to Nizwa passes through a mountains terrain with charming little villages and numerous dry riverbeds (Wadis). Almost two hours later, I arrived in Nizwa.
The highlight of the visit was Nizwa Fort which is one of the oldest forts in Oman. It was built by Sultan bin Saif, the first imam of the Al-Yaribi dynasty. It took many years to build and was finally completed in 1668. The circular tower at the fort is the largest in the country. I walked around the fort and took some photos. Next, I strolled to Sultan Qaboos Mosque and had a quick look inside. This mosque is not open to the general public so I couldn’t visit.
Then I explored Nizwa Souq for about an hour and discovered that it was a great place to shop for over-priced souvenirs. From here I wandered aimlessly around the parking lot in front of the souq, observing the locals buying fish, negotiating goat prices and rushing from one seller to the next.
Completely exhausted, I grabbed a taxi to the brand new Lulu Hypermarket, about 10 away from the souq for some modern grocery shopping and air conditioning. I stocked up on my favorite bread, cereal and western food and then headed to the bus stop located about five minutes from Lulu. I waited forever for the bus to come. When the bus finally came, the driver was in a hurry and barely pulled over long enough for me to grab my groceries. I ran to the bus and got on.
Finally, I arrived home at 6:30, worn out from a day of sightseeing, shopping and travel. Actually, this journey was not exactly a rest day. In fact, it may have been the hardest workout of the week.