Saving money · Travel destinations

Wildcamping: the cheapest and most spectacular vacation you will experience

Last December we decided to go on a little adventure. Living in the United Arab Emirates and surrounded by a huge desert and spectacular mountains, we can’t leave this country one day and haven’t explored all the beauty that nature in this country and its neighbor Oman has to offer. We had bought two off road books: one for the UAE and one for Oman. We are a huge fan of offroading and this time we went to the Musandam Mountains, in the northern part of Oman and the Arabian Peninsula.

I have no idea where my love for wildcamping comes from. When I was a child, my parents never took us out for camping. They didn’t like it. Only when I became a young adult I started camping for the first time. That was in Europe on one of those big campings surrounded by a lot of people and a lot of tents. Walking in the middle of the night with toilet paper underneath your arm towards the bathroom, meanwhile trying not to trip over other people’s tent-ropes and waiting in line for the 5 minute shower with a coin in your hand, was not something I fancied. So I never went camping after that experience.

Until I moved to the desert and I joined friends on a trip to Liwa. Liwa lies in Abu Dhabi and is part of the Empty Quarter, which goes all the way into Saudi Arabia. It’s one of the biggest sand deserts in the world with dunes with a height of 120 m. We took the 4 x 4 Jeeps, tents, wood, coolboxes and set up camping in the middle of nowhere. In the night we had a bonfire with bbq and music and during the day we explored this massive desert with the Jeeps. This was awesome! Going back to nature and in the night the moon is so bright it brightens up the entire area around you. No headlamp needed. It’s so peaceful. This is the kind of camping I like. I don’t mind that the nearest ‘ladies’ bathroom is the dune I think is suitable. It’s much more hygienic than many bathrooms I have seen!

Now let’s get back to the Musandam Mountains. Below you will find some of the pictures taken and I think while viewing them you will understand why we love offroading and wildcamping so much :) Driving through the Musandam Mountains we found a couple of small villages (a village here consists of three houses) literally in the middle of nowhere. There were old Omani farmers with their goats. No woman was to be found. Every once in a while a truck comes along with water supplies for the farmers. The last picture shows one of the houses.

plateau-1400m

musandam

Harf Plateau.jpg

Musandam 2.jpg

Musandam 3.jpg

musandam-4

plateau-1400-m-2

remote-village

Although we treat ourselves on a 5-star hotel once in a while to be pampered and to experience ultimate relaxation, we prefer to go offroading. Not only because it’s very cheap (although you have to spend a small fortune on good quality equipment, but that will last for years), but it gives you the best memories ever! Luckily I have found a partner who loves to explore the hidden treasures of this globe just as much as I do. One of our thoughts is to buy a multifunctional car who takes us around the globe for our world trip together. As my life quote is: “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”.

PS: when you decide to go wildcamping, please invest in a camping shower. It’s a shower head with two tubes. One tube goes into a jerrycan with water which you have to bring along and the other tube goes into the 12 Volt of your car. It’s this little luxury which really makes you feel ‘fresh and clean’ :)

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