A week earlier, when I saw pictures of it in a magazine at my Muscat hotel, I regretted the fact I wouldn’t have the chance to visit this natural wonder. When my Omani friends made this unexpected stop, I was not only happy, but also amazed by this beauty. I looked down and saw some young locals halfway up the walls, ready to jump, their voices echoing loudly. If only I could join them!
Soon we started climbing down the staircase to the natural pool. At roughly 9am, and only a few minutes out of the air-conditioned car, the summer heat was making me sweat and burned my skin. The water was so inviting that, even though I’m not a good swimmer, I was determined to go for a dip. When we arrived at the bottom of the stairs, my friend explained to me that “a piece of the moon fell, creating such a hole, and the water from the sea came from underneath”.
My friends refused to go swimming, so I stripped to my shorts, tested the water temperature with the tip of my toes, then jumped went into the cool emerald water. After a few seconds, I noticed some tiny fish were biting my feet. It was quite ticklish, and I realised they were the same “pedicure” fish used in some Oriental spas. Great, not only was I having a refreshing swim at an idyllic sinkhole pool created by a piece of the moon, but I was also having fish eat the dead skin off my feet. Sweet!
As I continued swimming, the guys I watched earlier climbed the walls again, jumped into the water, and a family of expats arrived. We spent about one hour at the spot, before heading to the rocky beach nearby. The sunlight was so intense that I could hardly keep my eyes open without sunglasses. This time I didn’t go into the water, as the sea was very rough, despite the calm appearance.
When we returned to the car, I couldn’t stop thinking about my friend’s explanation for the sinkhole. That is based on old local belief, but the truth is, it was caused by erosion, like any sinkholes in the world. To me this makes it even more special – being a commoner who managed to stand out of the crowd, to be one of the most beautiful sinkholes on the planet!
Location: Bimah Sinkhole is located near the highway between Muscat and Sur, around 48km (30 miles) from the latter, and makes for the perfect stop if you’re visiting the wadis nearby.
Facilities: There are toilet facilities at the small park, and the area is popular with families on pic-nics. There are no bars or restaurants, so you must bring your own food and plenty of water.
Entry Fee: Entry is free.
Getting There: There is no public transport. You must have your own vehicle or hire a driver in Muscat or Sur.