We were on the road by 7:00 and the temperature was already at 35 degrees. We were headed to Wadi Al Shab, a desert oasis close to the coast and just an hour south of Muscat. It was a smooth drive on amazing roads over the mountains and back down to the coast. We arrived at a sinkhole that the locals like to swim in and had a quick dip. It was cool to feel the small fish nibbling on your feet and legs. After that it was back into the car and off to Wadi Al Shab.
The wadi begins under a highway bridge where you have to pay 1 Riyal to take a boat across to the trailhead. From there, it was a 1-hour hike through rocks and over boulders. It was swealtering by this time, around 39 degrees but we managed to cool off in a waterfall about half-way to the simming hole. We got to the swimming hole and wasted no time getting in the warm water to try to cool off. We crawled and swam our way to the source of the wadi and found ourselves ducking under a rock overhang to come to an underground pool fed by a waterfall where you can jump off of the cliffs or just float around in the cave. It was very cool!
We swam back to the trail, had a quick lunch and hiked our way out. It was amazing to find this oasis in the middle of one of the hottest places on earth. Overall, a fantastic day!