It is not wise to drink like there is no tomorrow if tomorrow you have to drive 200km to Nizwa. I, the ever designated driver have knowingly abstained from mixing wine-bacardi-baileys-tequila-beer  drinks, the same cannot be said for Yulya. “Don’t play with someone who can play better” that is what the evening of day 2 has taught me! Raising bright an early, violently knocking on Yulya’s door for about half an hour until her highness emerged growling “but we were supposed to wake up at 9”, whilst clock said 8- Kuwait time. Making sure everyone was up and running, I dashed out to get some coffee, (see below-the best post-tequila breakfast) and made it back home within half an hour to kick butts out of the door. To grunts and whines, I loaded Alex and Yulya into the car, she sat there without as much as a sigh, quite the whole way. Occasionally she would stir, take our her beloved camera and shoot the scenery around. Then she would quickly succumb to the hangover and grow quite again. Driving to Nizwa is challenging enough without someone constantly remind you that they are going to barf. I was determined to make it to Golden Tulip Hotel, where Nina was waiting for us. Seeing the state we were in, she suggested taking her car instead and heading out to Nizwa Souq and Tanuf. To Yulya’s exclamations of “i feel bad, so bad, so bad” we drove on to Nizwa Fort, to find the area deserted except for a few trucks selling goats. The smells of stalls that sold “fresh chicken” did not aid the hangover in the slightest bit. Luckily not all the stores were closed and we managed to sneak a peak at the renowned silverware, pottery and Omani handcrafts. She took some amazing shots for her Project 365- an act worthy of recognition considering how badly she was feeling.

The Nizwa Fort was obviously closed given the Eid Holidays, so we performed our usual routine of posing next to the shut gates and cannons that decorate the entrance. There were very few tourists around, and people in general seemed to be celebrating at home rather than filling the streets of Nizwa. By midday we were mighty hungry and oblivious to the fact that EVERYTHING IS CLOSED DURING EID. Giving up our quest for traditional Omani food, we made our way to the abandoned village of Tanuf, a site of ruins and historical sights. Even the faded mud houses were not a good enough cause for Yulya to get out of the car. We drove on to Tanuf, going off-road with the help of a 4×4 button on Nina’s car. Herein my geographical challenge kicks in, and although I know there was a dam and a wadi- I cannot remember the name of the place. However, it was cool, refreshing and gorgeously adorned with greenery of all shapes and sizes. Trekking through the mountains for a mere 10 minutes was enough to realize that we simply cannot go on without food. By then it was already 1pm, our sick tourist was demanding a meal and pictures of mountains tired themselves out (Yulya: “wow, we don’t have mountains that are this gorgeous in Kuwait”). Hunger forced us to head to Al Hoota Cave, we knew for certain that they have a decent buffet at just 5 OMR per person. Little did we know that the entire population of Muscat has decided to flock to Al Hoota Cave that day. It was after all an Eid Holiday, but we kept on forgetting that significant detail because we were on a holiday of our own. A plateful of kebab and spaghetti bolognaise later, we stretched out in the outdoor patio of the restaurant, overlooking a scenic mountainous landscape above which thunderstorm clouds gathered. Eager to get back home, but dreading the 2 hour drive we lazily made our way to the car and headed to Golden Tulip Hotel to pick up my companion- the Sunny. We hastily organized the smokers (Nina and Alex) to head back to Muscat in one car, while I had Yulya with me. We talked the whole way down to Muscat, which is a big deal for me- because I am not a talker. Her hangover seemed to be dissapearing by the hour, or maybe it just knew that regardless of it’s presence we would still head to Left Bank for cosmopolitans later that evening.