Wonderful wadis: visiting Oman’s ‘vertical desert’

Say the word ‘desert’ and chances are that rolling sand dunes and expansive horizontal space spring to mind. In Oman, however, the desert landscape includes a vertical dimension in the form of soaring limestone cliffs incised with canyons. Drive or hike along one of these narrow, arid defiles, and you enter a troglodyte world of ancient cave-dwellings, prehistoric petroglyphs and old villages so long a part of the canyon they appear to be exuding from the rockface. Referred to locally as ‘wadis’, the canyons are part of the life-force of…

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