See the Oman Al Askarah page for up to date details of prices, hotels, travel information etc. This information dates from October 2002.An excellent weekend (03-04 October 2002)! Forecast and reports from the beach on Wed evening (thanks Joe) weren't looking promising but in the end we headed off about 0300 Thu morning. Very quick border crossing at Al Wajaja, and arrival at Shipwreck Beach about 1030 after change of plans enroute - Asiliyah almost flat Thu morning.
Strong offshore, 2-3 ft faces - but with more power than Dubai waves so as good as 3-4 ft here at least. Around 1130 wind dropped and then turned onshore so really nice glassy waves for an hour or so. Later in the afternoon the wind dropped and it was great on the mals and for beginners. Reef goes out a way so at low tide, waves break 100 to 200 meters off the beach. High tide waves that size break right on the beach, can't surf them.
Friday was about the same except the swell was a bit bigger - a couple of 4 ft faces coming through. I even managed to catch a few waves on the shortish board despite being a fat bastard!
Smaller than last month - we had the occasional head-high face then but almost as much fun and excellent for the beginners.
Al Ashkharah Hotel fine (especially if you're crook...) for 100 dhs per room, has flush toilets (important when you've got the shits...), hot water, fridge and CNN. Didn't try the restaurant though.
About 5 or 10 km outside Ibra on the Al Ashkharah side is a fairly new hotel. Name and tel number I'll add later. We checked it out on the way back, looks great. Has pool, restaurant open all day, 24 hour room service, bar (yes!). You're still 2 hours from the beach but a consideration for Wed night stop if you don't feel like setting up camp at midnight after driving 7 or 8 hours. Costs about 200 dhs for a double, 180 dhs single.
Slightly cheaper is the Al Qabil guesthouse 15 to 20 km further towards Al Ashkharah. About 160 dhs double - and after some negotiation he said he'd throw in continental breakfast. You can also get drinks (ahem!). But I'd say the first option is worth the extra few dirhams.
Also there's a 24 hr BP station in Ibra. Don't remember seeing any others after Muscat.
And finally for fast food lovers! On the return from Oman there's KFC and Pizza Hut about 200 km after Muscat heading for Dubai on the coast side of the road. Between the Palm Tree and the Globe roundabouts. More detailed hotel information below photos.
Photos have been moved to the photo gallery.
Note we didn't see any hotels in Al Khamil and I couldn't find any while searching the internet.
Maps and Brochures
Al Sharqiya Sands Hotel
About 5-10 km SE of Ibra on RH side of road going towards Al Khamil and Al Ashkharah.
Has pool, clean, tidy, pub serves booze. Rooms have TV and fridge. Worth paying the premium over others we looked at which are...
Al Qabil Guesthouse
About 25 km SE of Ibra on LH side of road going towards Al Khamil and Al Ashkharah.
Standard of rooms fine, not as good as Sharqiya but then it is cheaper. You may be able to negotiate a continental breakfast thrown in. Food served 0600 till 2300, booze available. No pool but pleasant outdoor courtyard. TV and fridge in rooms.
You're still almost 2 hrs from the beach so onwards and downwards to...
Al Ashkharah Hotel
On the main road through Al Ashkharah. Tel +968456222 or mobile +9689362508.
Single 9 OR and double 10 OR. A couple of family rooms but mostly single with a pull out mattress under the bed to make it a double. Has ensuite with normal loos. Small basic restaurant downstairs, no booze unless you bring your own (I think - I didn't even ask). Very basic but beds are comfortable - hotel is only a year or so old - and has all the facilities you need including CNN (nothing else though) on the TV and a fridge.
Bloke who answers the phone lives there and said call anytime(!) but his English isn't so hot. Good luck!
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