Tried to get to Janqul and then to Sohar (mainly to cover new territory, see new sights) via bus but found it impossible, only hired taxi which is out of the question. So, back to Muscat...
I got up and out by 7:15 to check the location where the desk clerk said we could catch a Bus to Janqul. He had drawn a map the night before but it was not clear the distances and the best place - there were 2 stops he indicated. I walked for 40 min. before arriving at the one he'd indicated was closest! When I left the Hotel it was fairly 'cool' but an hour later, whew! (see some photos on walk). When I got back @ 8:30 we discussed our options. Bon & Mari were quite interested in pursuing a route via Janqul to Sohar and I thought the bus yesterday was a thru bus to Janqul w/ a stop in Ibri (where we got off). So our calculations were that a similar bus would come thru today same time to Janqul. Failing that there were taxis which we might hire to go and we knew we'd have to hire one on to Sohar. Our cost would come out the same we figured vis a vie returning to Ruwi and then up to Sohar.
We headed for the boulivard out front to flag down a taxi but none were passing by. This is midday heat now, +/- 40°C (over 100°F), no shade...an Oman I fellow stops and gives us a ride the entire 3+km way! We are very blessed! Waited at the bus stop and sure enuf at 1pm just what we figured up comes the bus...AND the same nice driver from yesterday!(see Photo)
The bus does not go on to Janqul but instead returns to Ruwi/Muscat at 3:30pm! The driver speaks little English but as luck would have it his brother is present & able to translate. After much back and forth they agree -against the bus rules apparently - to let us on now, drive to the place where he parks until 3, and there we can wait in a restaurant discussing what to do now. One piece of info the driver adds is that Janqul is small, no accommodations. Also, there is a bus to Janqul at 6:30pm arrival 8! We still can go but do the trip in just the afternoon to get to Sohar we must negotiate 2 taxi rides from here to Janqul and then another to Sohar. If it were possible to go the whole way with just one taxi it might have been more appealing, but given the uncertainty of finding a reasonable taxi rate to Sohar we opted to return to Ruwi. We had a chicken dinner which we accepted w/o asking price (cardinal error of travel) and paid the penalty - twice what it should have been! Do we ever learn! ?
Now on the same route we've travelled before, nothing new. We have concluded the ONLY way to see the sights in Oman is to have lots of $$$ and rent a 4WD, 'cause many can only be reached in this kind of vehicle. We thought we could somehow piece it together enough to see some of the sights but.... Even hired taxis can't go many places, even if you could afford them. And tours have very high price tags, sometimes only going where it's easy anyway.
Back in Muscat...Al Wafa Hotel
, our friends and a room! Nice!