Heading south, we- travel by 4WD vehicle through the mountains, passing the dramatic craggy peaks of the Jebel Akhdar ("Green Mountain") range, the highest mountain range in Oman. Despite its desolate and barren nature; small settlements cling to the plateau areas, nestling in the lunar-like landscape. For thousands of years, self-sufficient oases have flourished in the folds of rock, using an ancient irrigation system known as Falaj. These are water channels that never dry up, often contoured round wadis or tunneled through the cliffs to tap the water table. Upkeep of the life-giving falaj is a community responsibility and contributes to maintaining harmony within a village. We stop en route to view the AI Hamra mountain range; at 300qm, Jebel shams (mountain of the suns) is the high-test peak in Oman. Along the track to the summit of Jebel Shams, we encounter an astonishing view down a sheer drop of 1000m to the bottom of the "Grand Canyon", Oman's very own (and equally spectacular) version of its American counterpart; at the bottom of this vast void, a wadi winds peacefully through the landscape. According to one theory, the canyon was once a huge cave, and evidence of fossils and shells suggests that the canyon base was at one time covered by a shallow sea. We reach Nizwa, the capital of Oman from 751 to 1154 AD and still regarded as the cultural capital. Overnight stay in Hotel.