As you can probably conclude the evening of day 3 has ended with “outrageous consumption of alcohol”. I believe the party has exhausted itself around sunrise. Unlike them crazy people, I went to bed at a decent hour- just after 4 am. Common sense whispered in a defeated weak voice “must wake up for city tour at 8 am tomorrow” hence gathering what was left of my willpower I crawled out of bed at 7:15 am. We needed to make a move on, and be in Sur around 2 pm that very same day, and we still had the Grand Mosque tour to complete! From past experience of getting “horribly lost” in Sur, I knew that we needed to leave early if we wanted to make it. Around 11 we set out to pick up a friend who was joining us to Sur, lunch boxes packed and camera’s charged- we set out on our adventure. I have an ongoing battle (which I am loosing) with the husband’s smoking, so we had to stop every half an hour or so, otherwise he threatened to smoke in the car. It was just as well, because Yulya was able to get amazing shots of the views we drove past, such as Wadi Shaab below:
I was eager to make it to Sur before sundown. The four hours of driving ahead were nothing in comparison to slow Chinese torture. The road to Willayat Quriyat is a piece of cake, however it is once you get into the settlement and roundabouts spring up around you, that everything starts to look the same. Luckily, just one wrong turn later ( Yulya “Olga where are you going???”) and 3 phone calls to Ras Al Jinx, we were on the right track. I am now like a fish in water when it comes to Sur. I can point out the Sur Beach Hotel, their Badr Samaa Hospital chain and even Al Aijah village- which is your hint if you are turning to Ras Al Hadd. The entire way I was exclaiming “we were here once at night, and so lost, so lost!!!” My favurite sign board in Sur is the one that says “Dear Visitors…there is a tiger ahead”  this is particularly terrifying if you are driving there at night, you are as lost as a needle in a stack of hay and your only help is a GPS navigator that shows you driving into the Arabian Gulf. To clear the matter up, there is no tiger. Simply a drawing of a tiger on the side of the mountain. A consoling fact when you are…lost…oh so lost. Once we drove into Sur, I got distracted by a very pretty house on a hill (umm…ya…) and hit a speed bump full on at 100 km/h. I can tell you, the husband was not impressed. I was banned from driving the rest of the way, which was just as well as it gave me a chance to check out more pretty houses with no consequences. I did matter of factly point out a sign and quotes “Sur- 1642 km”. Which, if it were true meant that we still had 11 hours of driving ahead of us. I was then banned from both driving and reading signs out loud. It was just not my day…On the brightside being the grounded passenger gave me a great chance to enjoy this: