Misty Greens in Southern Oman
As the searing summer heat oppresses most of Arabia turning it brown and dusty Southern Oman waits for Khareef. As Khareef Season strikes the world is turned a magical, misty green drawing tourists from around the region.
We flew from Muscat to Salalah for "The Khareef," as we refer to it locally. Considering that I am from the very green and beautiful Pacific Northwest I wasn't expecting much. Yet, as our shuttle pulled from the airport I was breath taken. We were surrounded by spectacular, giant leafy greens and I shot a quick photo. I sent it off to a friend in the U.S.A. She texted back asking if we had landed in Jurassic Park. The palm trees and plantations sure felt like it.
The Salalah Khareef (a.k.a. Salalah Monsoon) is a season from June to August. The area surrounding Salalah is soaked in a gentle mist and shrouded by fog. Some say it is a result of the neighboring monsoons around the Indian Ocean. No matter where it originates the community counts on the moisture for survival and annually there is a Khareef Festival to celebrate. The festival attracts seas of tourists, including us.
After settling in and adjusting to the rain we headed off to see the sites and this is the green beauty that we found among the crowds.
It is hard to believe that this is the same country that produces sandstorms all summer long and it's not surprising that the Ministry of Tourism claims that "beauty has an address" in Oman.