Jon and I are drawn to places which may not be on too many people’s radars. Last December we got very very itchy feet. We decided on a whim to book some cheap low cost flights to Dubai, from where we would take a bus into Oman, and then rejoin our route from a couple of years back. The general idea was to cycle along the Arabian Sea, in a quest to reconnect to our former vagabond selves. To camp, eat from street joints, live simply, and be free. Why Oman, out of all places? Because this country sitting in the corner of the Arabian Peninsula defies all expectations. It’s Arab, multicultural, Ibadi Muslim, the region’s peace heaven, and an absolute monarchy, where people genuinely love their ruler. Once a sprawling empire with the capital in Zanzibar and spanning from Pakistan to East Africa, modern Oman has now shrunken to a fraction of its former size. The KTM was waiting for us in the kingdom’s capital, Muscat. We arrived there after a flight to Dubai and another 6 hours by bus. Muscat is an ancient city dating back to around 6,000 BCE, so we devoted some time to a stroll in the Mutrah souq, to sipping chai on the elegant Corniche, and to a visit to Sultan Qaboos Palace and the Grand Mosque.