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My bike’s sat nav is set for Jebel Shams – the highest peak in the Al Hajar range.
The first 30 minutes escaping Muscat are hot and uncomfortable.
Afternoon rush hour in Muscat and there’s not a single camel in sight.
The ship of the desert would have been the cause of traffic chaos in the Omani capital 50 years ago.
The nearby fort of Al Jalali was built by the Portuguese in the 1580s and twice captured by Ottoman forces.
It was used as a jail until the 1970s but now looks as clean as a film set.
I’ve arrived at Mutrah souk on my rented Harley-Davidson, fully prepared for market chaos.The latter form part of what is known as the Empty Quarter – one of the largest sand deserts in the world, it dominates the southern half of the Arabian Peninsula.Leaving Muscat early morning the next day, I hope to avoid the worst of the afternoon heat.The huge Toyotas and Nissans only come in one colour – sandblasted white.Driving in Muscat isn’t for the faint-hearted but the rest of the country’s modern road network has made the Sultanate a dream for one particular type of tourist – the motorcyclist.