PDO efficiency and experience paid off. After leaving a message on the answering machine of the responsible person who was on vacation and obtaining from Chris the department heads name I was able to get a new fax sent to the hotel confirming the booking for 2 rooms/2 nights in time before we checked out. After an extensive breakfast we packed up the car with our steam lined luggage (left some more, less essentials behind) and set off on our great adventure at 9:30. Just about as early as planned (negotiated). The drive was very smooth and quiet. The investment in car screens and an endless supply of DVD’s and pay-station games paid off. We only stopped 2 x. Once to get some diesel in Sohar.
and once at the boarders (Oman/UAE) where Mohammed, the PDO rep, got us through Oman emigrations without serious problems and with some help from Rudy the UAE emigration officer managed to get all 4 passports into the system. The car navigation system got us through Al Ain on our way to Abu Dhabi and thereafter Al Ruwais without problems. Although you drive through a coastal desert you see lots of greenery. On both sides of the road they have planted date palms and other trees. Sometimes you also drive through large plantations. The water must all be coming from desalination plants. We tried to find some cheaper accommodation in Ruwais and Jebel Dhanna but in the end ended up in the same resort where all previous parties made their stop before venturing into Saudi. We arrived, tiered but happy to be on the way, at 18:30 after 715 km. The swimming pool was very refreshing but we left the bar seats empty and drank our last, warm, beer in the room.