After a few weeks of work – already with one half of my brain on the trip while the other half was still trying really hard to focus on work, which didn’t really go well judging by the number of lost/misplaced/disappeared items – we finally managed to leave Dibba.
Which turned out to be easier said than done.
We planned to go out with a bang, with an old friend visiting from overseas, a planned Zombie-themed party complete with fake graveyard next to the swimming pool and all (most) of our favorite customers invited. Instead, Musandam tried really hard to make us not go anywhere at all. First by letting loose a major storm including torrential downpour and massive waves, forcing us to spend the night in Lima, a small fishing community up the coast because we could not make our way back to Dibba. There are no roads leading in or out of Lima so it was no option to hitch a ride back. The second preferred option would be being saved by a helicopter but I guess the fact that everyone was cold and hungry was not enough of a reason to send out a rescue mission. Damn you Omani coast guard. Since they wouldn’t emergency-drop crates of food, blankets and pyjamas either we were forced to scrape together our last dirhams and buy them in the shop which was conveniently located next to the only open restaurant in town which served everyone amazing food and sugary tea which really lifted the spirits. Then magic happened and half the town kind of pulled together to find twenty not-so-hungry and brand-new-pyjama-clad divers a place to stay, because obviously there is no ‘official’ accommodation in Lima (I see a business opportunity here people!). Eventually we ended up staying at someone’s friend’s uncle’s auntie’s (or something) almost finished house. Walls, a roof, running water and electricity. No furniture but almost perfect, especially as it came with complementary scorpions and zebra-printed wallpaper and glittery hearts on the ceiling. Omani style at its classiest.
To everyone that got stuck in Lima with us: you were amazing! Thank you for coming together as a group, keeping the spirits up, sharing resources (toothpaste! clothes! cookies!) and generally being awesome. You made the last weekend truly one to remember 🙂
Second, when we were all packed up and ready to really leave Dibba pulled another trick on us. Hello border. Why yes, we do have an Iranian visa in our passport. And why yes, A does happen to have a wildly untamed (but very sexy) beard. It took us three hours and a visit from our sponsor to convince the guards that no, we are not smuggling anything to/from Iran and that no, we do not plan to join IS and that no, in fact we are not even muslim (but then WHY.DO.YOU.HAVE.A.BEARD.MISTER.ANTONIO?!) but we just finished a year’s work in Dibba and just really wanted to go home.
Sigh. But we made it.
For now we will spend a few days in Dubai, doing the final preparations and bike adjustments for our trip. Naturally this made things worse instead of better so at the moment of writing A is visiting the bike repair shop to get his bike fixed. What can possibly go wrong on this trip?