Run day Monday: MSQ 10km beach loop

MSQ, Shatti, Al Khuwair: 10km loop

Map route courtesy of

Map courtesy of Route 564360.

This is a great route I started over the summer before my knees started playing up again. I’m currently doing little-and-often and hoping to build back both the stamina and pace I’ve lost over the past year.

Starting at a handy parking spot on the service road for Madinat Sultan Qaboos st, head over the highway into the shade lanes of MSQ where the first three kilometres take in the quiet back streets and rolling hills leading down to the busy Sultan Qaboos highway. More


Three Things Thursday; ancient things of Oman

Q: What do you do if you’re a fast-developing oil economy with outrageously beautiful natural resources caught in a slowdown ?

A: Turn to tourism and hope you can successfully diversify in time to stop it all going down the pan.

Winter Is Coming. And in Oman this is time for great celebration. We can finally venture out of the house during daylight hours without the fear of being burned up like vampires. The Eid holiday at the start of September gave me an opportunity to take advantage of this and head through the Hajjar mountains and into the Interior for a couple of days. In my inimitable “explore-by-random-accident-rather-than-any-conspicuous-planning”style, what I encountered was glorious and wholly unexpected. Wonderful for me, problematic for the country unless it seeks to dramatically expand its capacity and infrastructure for tourism.

With few road signs and little in the way of a comprehensive guide to reaching and enjoying the best of Oman, I cobbled together a great couple of days’ of exploring. In the spirit of sharing, here are three…

… wonderful ancient sights in Oman. More

Run day Monday: Worldwide WordPress 5k (wwwp5k)

The start of the WordPress community’s Worldwide 5km community blog n’ run coincided precisely with this month’s runday Monday, so rather than a new route, I did an old route at a new time of day and hit the road early.

MSQ 6kmMap courtesy of Route 539820.

Well – early-ish. I intended to set out by 8am but eventually got out there at 9.30am. The temperature already read 31°c and humidity was at around 75%.It was pretty hot, but nowhere near as bad as the height of summer. More

Run day Monday: MQ (Madinat Sultan Qaboos) 5.5km

Neighbourhood run around MSQ: 5.5km

MSQ 6km

Map courtesy of Route 539820.

It’s hot, it’s humid, and the beach is just too darn short. Time to eat dust and work out a gritty run around the neighbourhood. More

Three Things Thursday; Food in Oman

I’ve landed in a totally new destination which has confounded all my expectations in wonderful ways. As always, my best settling-in technique is to dive in mouth-first, so this month here are three more…

Dried food

Dried dates, dried bread, dried fish, dried milk balls, dry black lemon powder

…unusual nutritional items.

Amazing Iranian restaurant

Amazing Iranian restaurant

One thing I’m really enjoying about living in Muscat is what a multicultural city it is. This has its perks and downfalls, but compared to the places I’ve lived in the last five years, there’s greater level of diversity, and this is most easily appreciable in the food on offer. The slowly returning Omani diaspora from Baluchistan and Zanzibar bring fusion Arabian / South Asian and Arabian / African dishes. There’s also a wealth of Iranian food from our neighbours across the Strait of Hormuz, famous for their sweets. My nearest cheap meal out is an eye-popping Iranian restaurant which I mistook for a light fittings shop at first glance. And I’m in my personal food heaven as the huge Indian expat community dominates food outlets and supermarket options.


There are a number of reasons that, on the surface, a move to Oman for a feminist environmentalist seemed like more of a challenge than other choices available and attracted various reactions of surprise and concern from family and friends. In fact, as my pre-move research revealed, Oman is quite a laid-back country with a harmonious live-and-let-live attitude. I certainly fare no worse here based on my gender than in other far-flung parts of the world. Some of my clothing choices have altered somewhat, but little more so than in subtly Confucian-influenced east Asia. Environmental lifestyle choices, however, are extremely limited. Today, I’m sharing my discoveries so far.


Run day Monday: Shatti Al Qurum bike-run-swim

Shatti Al Qurum bike – run – swim: run 6.5km

Shatti Al Qurum bike run swimMap courtesy of Route 522054.

And lo, it came to pass that the Parrot did become totally addicted to running on the beach. Indeed, once she found a house in a quiet neighbourhood a good half hour walk away, she fired up the trusty Bicycle and cycled to beaches just so she could run on them. And then… she realised that nothing cooleth one down so much after a great run in ridiculously high temperatures than jumping in the handy sea fully clad so that the damp clothes would keepeth one cool on the cycle ride home. And thusly… a triathlon dream was born.

Idyllic island

Idyllic island


Of goats and forts

Fort view over Nizwa

Fort view over Nizwa

Everyone loves a goat. And surely every traveller enjoys a good fort, too. My recent travels have included both, together, in two different countries and very different parts of the world.

Run day Monday: beach run Muscat Ministries

In front of and around the Ministries District, Muscat: 5km

Muscat Ministries District run

Map courtesy of Route 512353.

I’m a sucker for a run along a beach so, having moved to a city on the sea, you can expect the next few Run day Monday entries to feature beaches along the Muscat coast as I run-splore around my new home.

Staying in Al Khuwair for the first few weeks, I’ve been just over Sultan Qaboos road from the Ministries and, beyond them, the sea. I haven’t settled in to a new running rhythm yet, which is unfortunate as I’m piling on the pounds, but when I do run, this is the route I follow for a neat 5 – 6 kilometre trot. More

Feathered friends

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