The Blowholes of Mughsail and the Marneef Cave

Driving west out of Salalah, a winding road takes you through the rocky coastal plains to the white sand beach of Al Mughsail. When road and water finally meet, it’s a beautiful drive along this long stretch of beach. At the far end, is the Marneef cave which overlooks the blowholes and the turquoise blue Arabian Sea, set against a dramatic backdrop of rocky mountains. This by far, is the most attractive part of Salalah.

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Al Mughsail Beach: The Marneef Cave can be seen in the far right

The Al Marneef Caveimg_20161124_092631495

 

As the name suggests it isn’t actually a cave but a huge open sided limestone rock shelter. The overhanging rock provides a natural shelter making it a great viewpoint to take in the seascape of Al Mughsail and get a first glimpse of the blowholes.

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From this rock like shelter we made our way to the blowholes which is a five minute walk. A wooden gallery borders the path right through, probably as a protective measure especially near the blowholes where the sea beats into the rocks.

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View of the blowholes in the distance from the Marneef Cave

The Al Mughsail blowholes are a natural phenomenon resulting from the momentum of the water surging into the cavities of rock that lie mostly under water. They are three small holes in the rock through which jets of seawater shoot into the air. The sound effects (similar to the sounds of an air block you sometimes hear in taps, only more amplified as they echo through the rocks) precede the fountain of sea water. I heard that during the Khareef when the sea is choppy these blowholes can be pretty impressive when the water spray surges up to a height of 25 – 30 meters.

 

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A mesh covers a blowhole. The mesh is a recent addition, before which you could peer into the rock cavity

 

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The blowhole: the natural sea water fountain that shoots up

 

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The sea water surges into the rocky mountains

 

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A board at the entrance has a request for visitors which I think applies to any place you visit.

Take nothing but memories

Leave nothing but footprints

 

 

 

 

 

 

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