Before leaving UAE we made sure our car was clean not just for the car commercial we had planned to shoot but also for Oman where a clean undusty car is a must, otherwise you can be penalized.
Right after we crossed the border to the Musandam Peninsula a rather challenging and beautiful coastal mountainous drive presented itself. Roads are perfectly paved sometimes in line with sea level. We drove on these roads for a few hours on the Easternmost point of the mainland. These fascinating rock formations cut into the sea so close to the other mainland that Iran is reachable less than hour by boat.
It provided the most perfect location to film a car commercial which came to a sudden and intriguing end when the drone tracking the car lost connection and crashed into the mountains on the way back to the home point. The mission to search started and after about an hour walking in scorching heat in the sand Ashleigh miraculously spotted the drone half way up the mountain. I made sure that my travel agent’s number is on speed dial and I started climbing. Horus (the drone) was alive and in one piece, only the battery was missing that I found a few meters down the mountain a bit damaged bit still working. She proved her physical strength and agility. We both knew we would find her as our intuition drew us to her exact location.
In the mountains of Khasab we grabbed some snacks from the supermarket and I spotted my favorite Himalayan minty fluoride free toothpaste that I haven’t been able to find in the UAE in the last few days. I was so happy that I bought a year supply. An Omani shop assistant came out after us to take a picture with us. I wasn’t sure whether it was our effect or all the toothpastes I bought.
The drive continued and somewhat later we arrived to the turn off to the Khawr Najd. There were two gates, one was open, one was closed and the sign saying Access is prohibited – Omani’s secret project. It looked like an oil rig or explorations from above. I was very happy that we decided to go through the open gate and headed up on a steep unpaved road. The view of the Omani Fjords was just breathtaking. Now that we had a working drone again with some battery charge left we did a bit more filming.
By the time we made our way down the mountain there was only one inquisitive goat around that was fascinated by what we were doing.. Or maybe it just wanted food.
Running behind time we followed the instructions what they told us at the UAE border that we have to go back the same way to get to Muscat which is a huge de-tour.
A few hours later we arrived at the checkpoint only to find out that we are not allowed to cross the border without original car registration papers (car rental companies keep originals and give copies). Oddly we were redirected to the Hatta border crossing one hour through the mountains to come into Oman. The question is why were we not let through at the first border post yet the second one we were allowed through with no problems. 8 hours later than expected we arrived in Muscat at 4am with only a street name as reference for the hotel (as they don’t use standard address system, only point of references). We pulled over at the side of the road by a large building to ask the local security guards that were working there for their guidance. In true Omanian character they immediately dropped everything and were more than happy to help us. One of them jumped in his car and said follow me.