After being dropped off in the camp where I would be based to see the turtles, I was lucky enough to meet a Scottish family there, who ended up giving me a lift back to Sur the day following day. From Sur I would have to find my own way back to Muscat. The friendly Scots dropped me off and I tried to find my way to the ‘bus station’. My Lonely Planet deceived me as to where this bus stop would was and walked around for a good hour unable to find said ‘bus stop’.
Frustration and annoyance took over and chucked the LP back in the backpack and decided to ask someone. I spotted a travel agent and darted inside to see if anyone spoke English. I was in luck, the only person there spoke perfect English. So I told about my predicament and that I needed to get to back to Muscat and asked him what would be the easiest way to get there. He recommended taking a shared taxi.
He stepped outside with me and stopped a taxi. He explained to the taxi driver in Arabic where to take me. This driver took me to a place where there were around five taxi’s parked behind each other. When we got there I asked the driver how much the fare would be. He just replied “No”. No? ( I thought there might have been some misunderstanding). I asked him “Problem?”. His response? “My friend. This my country. You lost. You lost, you no pay!”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I asked him again and he repeat the statement and refused to take money from me. I thanked him endlessly! And he then went to tell the drivers waiting that I wanted to go to Muscat and took my backpack of me and put it in the trunk of the taxi I would be taking and dragged me into the taxi. I was left speechless. It’s the only time in my life that a taxi driver didn’t attempt to take advantage of the fact that I was lost.
In the space of two days I was shown the outstanding hospitality of the Omani people. My subsequent trips to Oman were always filled with the most helpful and nicest people I have met in the Gulf.