Open Mind, Open Possibilities

Yesterday we embarked on our 200 km trip to Wadi Shab with our taxi driver/self appointed friend and tour guide.
Wadi means valley in Arabic and is nestled between enormous mountains on either side. The view is breath-taking and you can't help but be in awe of nature.

In order to get to the Wadi we had to drive through a remote Bedouin community with roads precariously cut in the mountain sides.
Since our driver is nuts, it was a wild ride.

Once we made it to the Wadi, we had to climb into little boats that would take us over to the other side of the river so we could go searching for our waterfall.
Those boats were not very sturdy looking and Khadijah was not too pleased. After being berated by our taxi driver and reassured by the 13 year old boatswain, we got in.
We managed to get across the river safely and began our walk. The river bed we were walking in was pretty much dried up and all that remained were rocks (many of them) and little pools of water. Wrong time of the year to be looking for waterfalls apparently.
It would have been an amazing hike except we were ill prepared for the trip by wearing flip flops.
There was narry the sound of rushing water to be heard in the distance and were told by someone along the way that if we kept walking for 40 minutes we would see something beautiful. We never found out what it was. The prospect of walking for 40 minutes in flip flops over
rocks just didn't seem like much fun.
Khadijah was over it and so was I.
We hopped into the boat and made our way back to the car.

Our taxi driver decided we should go to the beach instead. Because of the remote location of the little village there are no tourists. We had the entire beach to ourselves. It was amazing.
Of course we had no swimsuits. We were simply going to get our feet wet. That was until Khadijah fell into the water.
Saeed , being the crazy nut he is thought it would be fun if we all just got in. Before I could consider the insanity of the situation, he was pulling his Kandoora over his head and running towards the ocean.
Khadijah was fully soaked and I was forced to just get in. I mean what other choice did I have?
We had so much fun out there and the water was the perfect temperature.

After that it was back to our hotel.
Once we got there Saeed decided we should go to the disco later that night for shisha and dancing. We were given directives to be dressed and ready to go by 8:30 that night.

We get to the disco and it is unlike anything I have ever experienced.
We were ushered into a private backroom with a big glass window by the owner.
After being seated, we were fussed over by the manager to ensure that we had a good view of the stage.
What for?
Well unbeknownst to us we were about to be privy to what is the Muslin version of an exotic dance club.
A girl in very immodest attire was shaking what her momma gave her on stage to the saddest piano player I've ever heard while men in Kandooras sat around drinking, smoking shisha and cheering her on.
Pure Haram (sin).
Our taxi driver/ self appointed friend and tour guide was having a blast. While we sat dumbfounded.
Never in a million years would I have thought that I would be in this situation. Needless to say it was interesting. It's just not something you think about when you travel to a predominantly Muslim country.

Four shots of a mysterious coffee flavored liquore, a heinekin, a pot of black coffee, Arabian tea and shisha later, we were ready to head home.
It was a really great day and would have never happened if we hadn't been open to the idea of being escorted around town by the caziest taxi driver ever.

Of course photos of the trip are included for your viewing pleasure. 

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