Damm, Oman

Road Trip to Wadi Damm

Forrest Mallard

Making plans to cross the border into Oman and go to one of my favorite Wadis for swimming.

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Having one day off per week limits the distance you might consider traveling for an adventure. However, in two weeks we are done with this season, and with only two days-off left this year, we decided to make a break for the border, and beyond.

Three years ago I was taken to Wadi Damm (وادي ضــم – also spelled Wadi Dhum or Wadi Dham) and regretted only being able to spend a few short hours there. I also remembered that it wasn’t too far to be considered for an ambitious day-trip, a nice 4-hour drive away from Dubai.

My friend Igor has been thinking about doing some adventures, and I present the idea to him… he is in. Another guy I work with has been begging me to organize another adventure… so that makes two. And Igor’s girlfriend Sue seemed to be up for seeing some places in Oman that they might want to use for an upcoming photoshoot.

So at 6am on Tuesday morning, March 27, we set off for Wadi Damm. This little oasis is located in Al Dhahirah region of Oman. A trio of GPS devises we were using all seemed to be agreeing on the route, so we set off, excited.

It is recommended that you have a 4×4 to reach the parking area of Wadi Damm, but we slowly and carefully navigated the short distance of rough gravel road that connects the parking area to the road with a normal car without any mishap. Actually, some of the speed-bumps at the border crossings were much more challenging to the car than the off-road, rocky terrain.

Wadi Damm is just as I had remembered it. Massive cliffs towering far overhead, providing the walls for this outdoor gallery of magnificent giant rocks that have been shaped into thousands of smooth, abstract sculptures. Boulders to jump off of, into jade-green pools of water.

If you are visiting this Wadi for the first time, you might not see the perfect walking path at the very top the rocks on the right-hand side as you enter the wadi. If you don’t ascend to the top of the loose rocks, you can still make your way along the massive rock shelves that extend along the side of the water. But my advice is to climb to the top of the rocks and have an easier walk, with a MUCH, MUCH better view!

On the way home, Igor spotted a traditional Omani sweets shop, and for a very small amount of money we bought an entire bowl of the homemade goodies, and the bowl itself was worth more than the price we paid for the sweets.

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