Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Camping on Beach and Encounter with Blanford's Fox!

Before the weather gets hotter here, few weeks back we camped on one of the pristine beach in Oman on Musandum side. I have written before about the same scienic journey from Ras Al Khaima to Musandum. There is clean blue arabian gulf on one side of the road and mountains on other side, the road is artistically curvey. This time we did not go upto Musandum, we drove upto just before Khasab inspecting each and every beach on the way. Many beaches were already occupied leaving no space for us to camp. So finally after sunset we settled with our tent on a beach after Bukha.

A walk with bare feet on beach, with waves washing our feet and taking sand beneath it; was very soothening.

We lit up our barbeque with least possible fuel and lot of hand excercise to provide enough wind for lit coal to lit up surrounding coals. The smell of barbeque worked as apetizer for us, I love the food cooked on coal. After our very tasty dinner on beach next to our tent, we relaxed and watched the stars and heard the wind and sea. Apart from street lights it was very dark, seeing bright stars in this away from city area is an experience. It is fantastic how our sky looks diffrent every hours in night, the locations of stars change and rising of next stars. And then suddenly we saw our favorite arabian fox swiftly passing on beach, definitely looking for his pray. The mountians are so close to beach that for these nocternal aminals who stay in mountains it is very easy to climb down the moutains and look for food either fish or turtle eggs etc on beach. The fox was looking white in dark, but with it's unique long ears and long brushy tale it was easy to recognise them. Of course not to forget we have experience of seeing them in same area previously :).

These foxes are so quick and calm that we never hear any sound as they come and they pass swiftly so again this time we could not capture them in our camera. But the experince was thrilling for us. With this encounter of wild life we went to sleep happily in our tent. We had finished all our food and had only some fruits in basket left outside or tent, we did not realized that it may attract some animals (or wild animals)!

It is very tranquil to sleep right next to sea. The continuous sound of waves and breeze coming from sea makes perfect atmosphere for sleeping under stars.
During late night I suddenly woke up as I felt something near to me from outside of the tent, when I opened my eyes and looked around, I could see silhouette of those long ears and face on tent just near my head! It was annoying, I hurried woke my husband up and shouted on the fox, who was just next to me, but outside the tent. My huband quickly went outside the tent, but couldn't see anything. He did not belive me that there was a fox outside our tent and he almost laughed seeing me annoyed. Of course I know foxes don't harm humans but it was scary for me to feel the fox and seeing his shadow next to my head.

My husband went to sleep immediately saying it must be a dream. I told him we'll check the pugmarks in morning and went to sleep. After some time or may be hours again I felt the fox outside the tent near my face, so this time I woke up my husband and just asked him to look at the shadow. When he saw it he agreed and told me (and  himself) not to fear. We watched the shadow, without making any movement or sound for around 20/30 seconds and then the fox ran away swiftly. I thought is it fruit basket attracting foxes? but we agreed that foxes don't eat fruits and we went back to the tranquil sleep again.

First thing in morning, we opened the front cover of tent and watched the sea and next thing, my husband got the camera and started taking photos of pugmarks of foxes. The pugmarks were concentracted more on the side of tent near my head (lol? do foxes like hair or smell of my shampoo?). We also found out the fruits from basket were on floor and one apple and one banana were missing. So guys, let me announce Blanford's fox eat apple and banana :D!

These foxes are frequently seen in mountains of UAE, Oman and the region. But for us they are still wild animals, as we don't get to see them anywhere near Dubai/Abu Dhabi or cities in UAE. This part of Oman is not developed and commercialised so it is a perfect place for eco-tourism and camping. Everytime we come here we get to see some beatiful arabian wild life.

We enjoyed the sea and water for a while and looked for some natural souvineer from the place. On these beaches surprisingly pabeles are carried with water to shores along with shells. The varied color of pables and shells red, yellow, brown, green is definite indication that this region is mineral rich.

We found some small colourful fish just brought with wave on shores.

We saw many types of jelly fish on beach. Not just dead but lot of live jelly fish we found, so we decided not to swim.
Some jelly fish were looking like yellow rubber/plastic tiny baloons. This jelly fish with eye was breathing, so we lifted these live jellyfish and threw them back to sea.

I also came across a very unique phenomenon on the beach. There was hole digged on the beach and all the dug sand was piled up at some distance from the whole. There were markes indicating path of that piled sand from hole. I did not understand what it is, but felt like it must some crab or something who might be doing this. Please let me know if you know about this phenomenon.

On the way back we took a stop near marshy land in Bukha. This place is a good spot  to watch birds. We could spot only these black headed Common Tern this time. The beach where we camped, we also found red backed shrike.

These tiny yellow flowers on wild natural shrub on beach drew my attention. This plant must be saline water plant and looking at these beautiful flowers, I felt why these kind of plants are not used widely as landscape plants? Lot of potable water, which is otherwise used for irrigation of landscapes in region could be saved, if saline water plants are used for this purpose.

Camping in wild definitely is very refreshing, soothening as well as thrilling. There must be very few activities which can provide this all. But everytime we enjoy wild nature, we need to make sure that we are not disturbing the nature and not leaving our trace in form of garbage or anything else. When I thought about the incident of night and how I shouted as first reaction. Did I scare that fox as well? But definitely not or else it wouldn't have returned again. If the fox was scared by my loud shout (!) it would have run to it's cave home in mountains and stayed hungry for at least that night; but instead the fox decided to have our apple and banana for dinner that night!

1 comment:

Musandam Dibba said...

I have discovered your blog today and I love it!! You make very beautiful things and your tutorials are very good. Musandam Khasab is a very nice presentation of culture, beauty adventure.