7 november 2019, yes wa kan

This longest space ever between blogs is in part due to rather too much activity both at work and, with family now here, at home, but also perhaps because rather too many topics are too hot to write about, several I care about I am rather too remote from, and in the organised chaos of our big move, I may have put my creative mojo somewhat into abeyance. To get going again then, I give you wakan: not the fictional country in black panther, but the very real village in oman, which we visited last weekend. At the cost of sounding like a tourism advert (which is, after all, part of my job), it was delightful. The drive was a fitting hors d'oevres, with shades of brown multiplying as you leave behind muscat, entering clouds with the foothills of the mountains as you start winding your way up through barren but somehow picturesque landscape, which might be described as chocolate box if it wouldn't all melt. Approaching the village, you realise why you were told you need a 4-wheel drive; by the end you think rally-driving may well be a vocation you didn't give enough consideration to. After a not-too-long, not-too-short walk up the 700 steps, you look down on the meandering path you've taken past houses, mosques, pomegranates, vineyards and the famous falaj irrigation system and gaze on a breathtaking valley set against the soaring peaks in the distance and majestic palm trees in the foreground. Wakan is just the right mix of subtle tourist infrastructure and unspoilt environment. Tuck into whatever food and drink you've brought and languish. Beats brexit.