Back in the desert, it’s not easy to find a subject for this month’s garden challenge. Heat and sand all around, not many edible gardens to find.
But last week, on a trip up Wadi Tiwi in Oman, I found a wadi full of date palms and farmers and I reckoned this might just fit…
Wadi Tiwi is a spectacularly deep and narrow gorge carved out of the mountains, running between towering cliffs right down to the sea. About 5km up lies the picturesque village of Harat Bidah and further up, along nerve-jangling roads with spectacular views, lies the village of Sayma. Date farms seem to be the reason for the existence of these villages. Electricity runs up to Sayma, but life lived here is a long, long way from the coastal plains, both in distance and conditions….
Let me drive you up the wadi to the date farms….
The entrance to Wadi Tiwi lies under a massive bridge which carries the E17 from Sur to Muscat….
Date palms and mountains…
Wadi pools and massive rocks, dropped off the mountains above….
Picturesque….but you wouldn’t want to have to cross here in a storm….
Starting to climb, looking down on the date palms… feel it’s going to be steep from now on…
Uh-oh…a dodgy, collapsing road…!
And a HUGE boulder just waiting to drop on me…..but calm down Victoria, people drive this route daily, think of the kids going to school….
Yes, there is a village up here and date palms…
Ok, strange this rock has its own walled garden up here in the heights….
Date palms next to a VERY narrow road, good reversing skills necessary up here….
A date farmer balancing on the falaj, (water channel)…it was a long drop….
Deft of foot….
Drying the dates by the roadside…
They look SO good, I could have just reached out of the window…
Falaj by the roadside….
Still, clear water and reflections in the wadi…..
Carrying the freshly cut date branches….
It’s a long way to school from here…..
Trucking the dates to a drying area….
which was down a small alley….
Ready and ripe…..
And the reason for the folks of Wadi Tiwi…. Dates….
Drying dates outside the house….
and by the wadi…..
Ahh, the exit to the Wadi…time to move on north, thanks for joining me on my drive….
Taking part in Jude’s garden challenge for July- the Edible Garden