Helping others explore Oman’s natural beauty has become a personal crusade for Khaled. (Photo courtesy of Khaled Abdul Malak)
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During the past two decades working in a Muscat dental clinic, Abdul Malak has mastered other skills beyond medicine. Not content sticking to the comfort of his surgery, the 52-year-old doctor-turned-explorer had been climbing Oman's majestic mountains, discovering caves and venturing into hardly accessible rocky canyons, commonly called wadis. It took Abdul Malak 10 years to explore all the wadis he depicted in his book, a task that he carried out during weekends, days off and free time, when he was not tied down with work at the clinic.It took several trips to fully explore every wadi, each involving several hours of climbing, abseiling, trekking and swimming. One canyon, Wadi Halfain in Jabal al-Akhdar area, west of Muscat, turned out to be particularly difficult to explore, Abdul Malak recalled. After doing the usual checking of both ends over at least 10 trips, he and his team of enthusiasts set on crossing the wadi, estimating that it would take them an average of 11 hours to complete the job. Although it is a demanding activity, "canyoning" in Oman can be done by amateur adventure-seekers as long as you have the right equipment and the right guide, Abdul Malak cautioned.Traversing the wadis often involves a swim.
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