Over the long weekend I had the chance to explore Sur and the beaches of Ras al Hud with my family. It is no more than a two hour ride away, but yet it still very different. Ras al Hud is known as an old sea port and for its large fishing industry. Though they have now built bridges, at one point people navigated their way through the surrounding bays in traditional wooden boats. They also have their share of beautiful wadis. Wadi Titi is is especially scenic. It happens to be quite big on its own, but considering it flows directly across from a view of the ocean it is particularly enjoyable.
On our way there we stopped at a very nice beach front restaurant. When I walked to the restroom, I was a bit startled to find one of those hole in the floor toilets. It served as a prime opportunity to refresh my wilderness skills. But in all seriousness it is a very developed area and a huge tourist hub. In many ways the beaches here feel much more private and peaceful. Anyways after another family style meal and by that I mean after equal parts rice had made it in my mouth and on my lap (I am still practicing eating with my hands) we were ready to go.
We set up camp right on the beach, and I had the chance to use a little bit of my camping expertise setting up our deluxe family tents. The shore line was traced with golden orange cliffs next to rough sandy silt. The beach was filled with wooden shacks; though not particularly large, they serve as a work base for nearby fisherman.
What Ras al Hud is actually most famous for is their sizeable sea turtle population, though unfortunately, like elsewhere in the world, their population is dwindling. If you are lucky, winter is usually a prime time to see the turtles.
Once all the stars came out without all the light pollution, and it was nearly pitch black, we started looking around for turtles. All of a sudden we spotted a large mother turtle the size of a small child. She was laying in a nest by the sea burying her her freshly laid eggs. Turtle nests are large depressions furrowed in the sand and are usually quite noticeable.
When we finally made it back to camp we spotted fresh hatchlings walking through our campground. They were so small and fragile. There is a very slim survival rate, as once the eggs are finally hatched they must travel through human trash and the constant threat of birds to get to shore. That is why they usually travel at night. To our good fortune we were even able to carry some to the ocean!