Then we drove out to Nakhl, a place near and dear to OPNO's heart. Z said she knew how to get there because she had relatives in Rustaq but really she didn't. OPNO though spied the fort and was like, turn here, turn here, this is Nakhal, but Z insisted on phoning and driving way the hell back to the ministry like a relative advised her to do. Which was the same bloody road OPNO had pointed out a half an hour back but, well, we got there. No one had seen the fort but OPNO so Princess was super excited. Z was like to everyone, dressed Omani as all were in Z and OPNO's closets, to be quiet, to see if all could get local price on admission to the fort, because collectively, the girls wanted to rent movies and eat dinner, and have gas money left for the car, and baisas is all we had left. 500 baisa is what we paid for admission of our entire party, which is nowhere near the price one is supposed to pay for a single admission (one rial per adult person OPNO believes). We also were allowed to stay a while after closing.The girls had so much fun running around, seeing all the rooms, and OPNO telling everyone the age of swords and guns and cannons (which Z decided to shove into the cannon). They climbed all the towers, something quite dangerous to do but no one in Oman seems to care since sueing isn't really an issue to the ministry of tourism. The veiws from the uppermost ramparts were beyond compelling, taking in the village and date plantations and the dry falaj system. OPNO nearly broke her neck though on an Eastern tower near the wali's room since one of the steps off the ladder fell out of the wall. Thankfully, she caught hold of another step and only dropped her purse on poor Z's head.
Going out through the traditional smaller door since the castle/fort was closed up for the night (Nakhl has a three door-to-the-gate system) was a very authentic experience, which we enjoyed, all of us feeling like Omani Princesses until Z screamed out, "Mishcock!!!!!!" as she spied, directly across from the fort, a mishcock vendor grilling delicious meat on skewers. Grabbing cans of pepsi and correcting Z's pronunciation of pepsi from "bebsi" (Arabic has no "p" letter while grasping wands of mishcock, Z drove us to the one place she DID KNOW in Nakhl, through the farms and plantations: A' Thowarah Hot Springs.The hot springs are popular picnic area for Omani and Indian families, and the place was pretty packed. OPNO enjoyed the drive there and kept exhausting Z on the winding drive there by pointing out one crumbling old house in thge center of a farm after another saying I will live there, or there over and over. Z finally stopped to ask a local woman about one of the crumbling houses, and apparently the family still uses it, but to house goats and cows. "What a waste!" was OPNO's typical response. The girls all enjoyed wading through water like bathwater, eating their mishcock and they were going to pay for a donkey ride (why, I don't know) but since it cost 1 rial per person, the girls gave up on that and decided to head back to MUscat to rent movies from Al Kuwhair.
How was THAT for an AWESOME weekend?