Wadi Shab in Oman: A Photographic Essay of Its Entrance

fter having parked the rental car under Highway 17, I set out to explore Wadi Shab. With palm trees contrasting the craggy rocky barren mountains, Wadi Shab would basically be an oasis in the desert of some sort if it were not adjacent to the Gulf of Oman.

I took a casual stroll inland along the murky green water of the wadi.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

The beauty of the natural landscape was somewhat marred by power lines and haphazard pipes; by seemingly abandoned buildings and graffiti marking said structures.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

The palm trees seemed to obviously not be indigenous to the wadi; but that might be an incorrect assumption on my part.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

There was yet another goat — this one quite brown and hairy — which was wandering freely around Wadi Shab. Perhaps it was searching for something on which to graze.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

The goat ignored me as it quietly went about its business. Ba-a-a-a-a-aahh.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

It is difficult not to enjoy the relative peace and quiet of Wadi Shab, as I found it to be rather calming and tranquil.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Strewn with debris and defaced with graffiti written in Arabic, I noticed a neglected structure which was built into the side of a mountain…

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

…and it was sporting cracks and signs of crumbling.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

A bird then suddenly appeared, flying low above the water and heading towards the Gulf of Oman.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

My camera followed it during its speedy flight.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

What species of bird this is, I do not know…

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

…but it never did stop, as it vanished as quickly as it appeared.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

There was very little research performed on my part pertaining to Wadi Shab; but that was not necessarily a bad thing, as it offered little surprises at every turn…

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

…including this building, which seemed to be in significantly better condition than the other structure — but it was situated across the water.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

It almost appeared as though it was a secluded home for someone.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Despite the fact that there were other vehicles parked in the parking lot at the entrance, Wadi Shab seemed to be desolate — and that was a good thing — but where were the other people?

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Although there was at least one building on the other side of the wadi, I could not see any way for me to walk to the other side…

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

…for as you can see on the right side in the above photograph, the sheer face of the side of the mountain across Wadi Shab is adjacent to the water with no access for any pedestrian traffic; and the entrance where the highway is located is off to the right beyond the parameters of the photograph.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Figuring that there was no way to access the other side, I was about to leave Wadi Shab and drive back to Muscat — when I noticed some movement in the distance…

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

…and there was a person walking towards my direction on the other side of the wadi. How did that person get there; and what is lurking deeper inland?

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

I started walking back towards the entrance of Wadi Shab to find out more information, wondering if that person was independent or part of an organized tour, not initially knowing who was permitted access across the water and how they got there — but then I decided to take a few more photographs of a building which apparently had seen better days.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Unsure as to what use this structure has — or once had — I thought it was photogenic, just the same.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

The windows were apparently constructed of nothing more than rebar inside of a wooden frame.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

This structure was situated on a hill near the entrance to Wadi Shab; and I was unsure of its purpose as well.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

I noticed a few boats in the wadi near the access road and saw people boarding one of them. I originally thought those boats were privately owned.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

After finding out that all I needed to do was pay one Omani Rial — or approximately $2.60 — to be taken by boat to the other side of Wadi Shab, I then caught the next boat out.

Please watch for future articles with details of my boat ride and venture inland at Wadi Shab — as well as plenty of photographs…

All photographs ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

3 thoughts on “Wadi Shab in Oman: A Photographic Essay of Its Entrance”

  1. P T says:

    Brian, I hope you do post more articles from your trip to Oman as I am headed there in two months time. I’ve enjoyed the ones so far.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Another reader of The Gate also posted that he plans on visiting Oman in January, P T; so posting trip reports from Oman now have a higher priority with me.

      I hope that they are — and will be — helpful to you.

  2. JESSIE says:

    The bird is called kingfisher that live in Wadi area of Oman. The guy on the other side of wadi might swim to there because the Wadi Shab is famous for the nature pool with the turquoise color, and the waterfall in the cave. You must do more adventure to see that breath taking scenery.

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