Spent the morning slowly packing and Caleb used the items from the fridge that might mold in a week to make breakfast and put the rest of the food in the freezer.
We had to wrap our dive bags, weighing together 19kg, in 0.2 g and 3 BD of plastic to align with Gulf Air’s new bag policy (less trash bags and ropes, more hard and one flat surface). We tried a white chocolate raspberry cheese brûlée that Caleb said had the aftertaste of medicine while we waited for our flight to board after 7 pm. He slept for most of the flight while I enjoyed reading from my first book, On the Origin of Species, on my Kindle.
Caleb and I have different traveling styles, not so much that we can’t explore together, but that the costs of doing so vary and creates laughing memories for later. Caleb doesn’t handle being accosted at the airport very well as he always just gives in unless I’m there to manage what he’s accidentally signing us up for (in Mexico it was almost a tour because he thought the guy was just showing us a map). Tonight it would be a pricier taxi ride, but hard to argue with their haggling system about how much we were overcharged (or just how well we tipped 5-10 OMR = $13-26) for our 45-50 km trip.
We got to the hotel we booked at around midnight because we didn’t realize it was a three hotel system resort (from family-friendly — what we would pay in San Francisco or Canada — to bourgeoisie out of our budget for even one night) at the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah leaving us closest to Extra Divers Qantab without going to the pricier resort next door and trying to get a ride or going the cheaper hotel route and hitchhiking with staff or hoping for a taxi early enough to not miss the boat.
This option would also give us alternative activities to do sans rental car if the weather was too rough to dive. I took some time to appreciate the blue-lit rocks, the wooden deco benches, the art garden wall, and the empty calmness of the airport in Muscat. The night manager of the hotel came on duty just as we arrived and though Caleb was willing to take our bags they were delivered on a plush red cart with golden handles to our poolside room and my suitcase set on the luggage rack when we usually use the mattress for this purpose.
An earlier flight might’ve been more convenient or have come with traffic and other issues. Our taxi driver did the minimum of 120 km/h to deliver us quickly and Caleb was sure to fall asleep just as fast leaving me one minute to peek through our sheer curtains at the pool lights as I closed the blackout curtains, pass the gummy bears in a bear-shaped glass container, and pee next to a shower with a separate tub with night lights under the bathroom sink and bedside tables.