We’ve been in Oman for a few weeks in fact it’s almost 5 weeks now that we’ve been here. One thing that we did notice about Salalah was it was exceptionally clean but what we didn’t know was that it was exceptionally clean because it had been cleaned up. They have an entire army of guys going around everyday, all day cleaning up after the locals.
The tradition here seems to be just to throw anything anywhere although there are trash cans of multiple sizes every 100 meters. It’s a shame that they don’t care and they just throw everything anywhere. Especially after each weekend there are bags of rubbish everywhere which are then rapidly cleaned up by the army of collectors. Of course none of this went in a bin which is quite literally in throwing distance. It’s a disgrace. It all gets just thrown on the ground. We have in fact seen nobody use one of the bins and there are thousands of them.
Even popular tourist attractions are strewn with rubbish after each visit. Where somebody would make a little fire to make some kebabs or something, they would carry the produce up to the wadi or tourist attraction in a plastic bag. Cans of pop and bottles of water and then of course at the end of this they would just throw it all on the fire and walk away. Rather than in fact put all of the rubbish back in the bag that the supermarket has given them (that’s another story) they just leave it there. It’s such a shame as the country is absolutely beautiful.
Another excellent thing about Salalah and the Dohfar region are the multitude of public toilets which are absolutely spotless. Again they have a worker sat there all day while they are open which we believe is 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. cleaning them repeatedly. They are all spotless, well equipped and they have tissue and obviously the obligatory bum gun, as we call it, for washing your ass. It’s a marvel of local authority spending. We have literally not wanted for a toilet and not to be able to find one within a few kilometres. The ones down in Salalah rival any toilet you can find anywhere and I would suggest they are almost as clean as Japanese toilets but obviously they are in a different league.
We actually found one campsite (of course it’s free) run by the local authority in Duqm where the toilets are open 24 hours. Although not of the same standard as in Salalah they are still very good. The spots were all equipped with water and although, as is a continuing trend within Oman, there are no showers.
We did find one public shower at the visitor centre for the dam. Before this we’ve had to collect water from the toilets sometimes filling the container with the bum gun so we can get a shower. We went out and bought a tent for getting a shower and I finally repaired my battery USB charging shower pump so we can do this anywhere. The system we have under the bonnet makes hot water and of course after a drive in 38° you don’t really want a hot shower so we’ve not been using that much although we have used it a few times in the morning. I can just see the one on the engine coming into play later when we’re in a cooler climate.
I’m going to leave it there I’m post something else in a couple of days but as the title says we also run out of alcohol from our duty free purchases on the way here. We’ve actually had a small restock as there is nothing nicer than a beer at the end of a hot day driving.