OH MAN, OH MAN, OH MAN, what an amazing place you are!

Of course I am referring to Oman. To this far away exotic and sunny gem in the Middle East, stuck between the desert of Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Sea. Bordering Yemen in the west and the United Arab Emirates in the north.

This country had been on our bucket list for years. Last December, we finally managed to go!

At first, mentioning our plans to friends and co-workers, we were surprised by the feedback we received. Some of them did not even know where to look for Oman on a map or had never even heard of it.

And, truth be told, at first sight it does not seem to be a very well-known country to visit.

But don’t let that thought fool you.

For the more adventurous traveller like you, digging a little deeper will find lots of information and before you know it, the country will be added to your bucket list too;-) Mark my words!

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So, we started planning. We wanted to camp, we wanted to explore, we wanted days without seeing a soul and we wanted a relaxed trip, lots of sleep and good food.

We got it all! The biggest bonus was the super friendly people, all of them honest, helpful and very hospitable.

A friend of ours in Dubai is an expert on rooftop tent camping with our Khosi in the desert. He had been persuading us to visit Oman for years. Via him we got in touch with the owner of a travel agency called IDrive4x4, located in Muscat, the capital of Oman.

Of course we could have rented a Toyota landcruiser Prado with a random brand rooftop tent, no problem.

But hey, YES problem! The cars they offer have softshell rooftoptents on top.

Oh oh, this, as you will understand, was a ‘no go’ for us as we are convinced hard shells are more comfortable, therefore we only sell hard shell rooftoptents, as you know.

Imagine, us selling only hardshell rooftop tents sleeping in a competitors softshell tent, you've got to be kidding, ha ha, no way!

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In no time we decided that we needed to have our own rooftoptent on the car, a JoyCee, to travel with. Call us crazy but we needed our own brand on top.

We had the tent flown into Dubai, straight from the factory, couriered it to Muscat and had it mounted on ‘our’ car the day before we arrived.

Leaving out the fact that we arrived in Muscat a day late due to a cancelled flight, with a short stop in Munich, as the airport was covered in 40 cm of snow;-)

But, who cares, this small hiccup was soon forgotten when we received new tickets for an Emirates flight the next day.

Upon arrival in Muscat, we picked up the fully equiped car and met the manager of the car rental shop who was happily surprised by the quality of our JoyCee. It is “ so easy to open and close” and you can leave your sleeping bags inside!

With a great book with roadmaps in our backpack, our Garmin in the car and lots of groceries in the back, we set off on our adventure.

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We rented the car from IDrive4x4 for 10 days and slept in our JoyCee 8 nights, all of them in the middle of nowhere as camping in Oman can easily be done in the wild.

Better yet, we didn’t even look for any campsites as you are allowed to travel anywhere and set up camp for the night, under the stars, wherever you like.

So we did, every night in a different spot. Each spot being better or more quiet than the other. The views are amazing, sunrise from your comfy bed in the rooftop tent stunning with just a goat or donkey to keep you company. December, for us, was the right time of the year to go, approx. 28C during the day and, depending on your camping spot, at low altitude approx. 14C at night. The higher into the mountains, the colder at night of course. In that case, we booked a hotel room and cheated a little;-)

The more we got to know the car, the more bold we became, driving through narrow passages and rivers or up steep hills. Our Prado always managed to get us to just around the next corner, out of sight, parking in the ultimate darkness accompanied by the stars above. And, again, the odd goat or donkey to keep us company.

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We have to admit, Oman is more beautiful than we anticipated. The “short” tour we made showed us different country sides; empty beaches, high mountains (really high, up to 3000 m), green wadis, vast desert and beautiful people.

This trip, looking back, was only a tip of the veil we lifted. There is so much more to explore and see. One of the lessons we learned was, even though we took it slow, is to take it even more slowly next time. Maybe spend 2 nights in one spot, to allow ourselves to watch the sun set and the sun rise, listen to the wind or waves, swim in a wadi pool and just relax in the breeze, observe the goats and taste the local food.

Watch the landscape change colour with the movement of the sun.

Oh man, we can’t wait to go back.

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