Friday, May 11: My pic-a-day for today is the landscape of Jebel Akhdar. Jebel Akhdar is part of the 300 km Al Hajar Mountain range, about 50-100 km inland from the Oman coast on the Gulf of Oman. The range is mostly desert, but at higher altitudes it receives around 12 inches of precipitation annually, moist enough to allow the growth of shrubs and trees and support some agriculture. It is this that gives the mountains their ‘green’ name. The area is famous for its traditional rose-water extraction and agricultural products including pomegranate, apricot, peach and walnut. The Jebel is mostly inhabited by the ancient Arab tribe Bani Riyam (al Riyamy).
I went for a walk on Jebel Akhdar today in search of the roses that make the mountain famous for its rosewater. Sadly, we were too late to see the roses; I think they must have been harvested in late April. Never mind. The mountain is beautiful anytime; and it has the added benefit of being cooler than the lower altitudes.