Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Beth's Big Adventure Day 4: Bahrain to Oman.

View from the training room
A glorious sleep in a massive comfy bed is exactly what was needed at this stage in the journey. By going to Bahrain I gained an hour and when I arrived at Oman I promptly lost it again, so my poor old body clock now has no idea whether it's coming or going.

Bahrain rocked - such a beautiful location, an office full of lovely people and stunning views from the training room: deep blue sea turning emerald green in the shallows and a cloudless blue sky. Very few signs of the problems of last year and the people I spoke to were very eager to tell me how the international press blew things out of proportion somewhat - big surprise. My taxi driver from the airport asked if I'd visited before, when I told him I'd been here 2 years ago he replied "not much has happened since then, but we've got a new hospital." Maybe he was on holiday when it all kicked off.

World Trade Centre Bahrain
There was an international food festival taking place in the mall near the office so I seized the chance to try new an interesting foods - not entirely sure what I ate but it was very tasty. I also discovered that Sweet Chilli Sauce over here is a LOT more spicy than it is in the UK. Divine!

On the drive to the airport I spotted a rather battered Police vehicle going full chat with two wheels on the pavement and no siren. You have to admire their commitment to the cause although it did startle a couple of pedestrians. We passed through 2 police checkpoints on our way to the airport which is the only sign I've seen of last year's issues.

Picturesque pool..?
A thankfully uneventful flight and a reclaimed hour meant I hit Muscat at 22:25 local time. (Silly phrase really - I'm hardly likely to quote random times from around the world now am I? "I arrived at 04:25 Beijing time" would just be silly wouldn't it?). For some reason we got naff all food on the flight but the Omani lady sat next to me clearly though I needed fattening up so started feeding me doughnut-like treats - very tasty!

The hotel pick up went smoothly but hotel a bit rubbish to be honest - or maybe I'm just tired. The tiled floors combined with the people upstairs hosting a "rearrange your furniture" party really aren't helping. Plus there's not a drop of booze in the place - no bar and the mini bar just has chocolate & soft drinks - what a waste of a fridge! Where's a decent Premier Inn when you need one?

People keep telling me "Oman is beautiful" and it's certainly different. I didn't spot any big skyscrapers on our drive from the airport and I'm looking forward to seeing it in the daylight. View from the hotel room doesn't really do it justice... Last leg begins tomorrow, but it's a 2 stage journey so watch this space.