Socotra - March 2020
Socotra is known as the jewel of Arabia and we have seen it for ourselves. Full of beautiful nature, sandy white beaches and kind people. Socotra is found off the coast of Yemen and while people associate Yemen with war, this island lays peacefully in the Arabian Gulf and shows no signs of war happening on mainland Yemen.
This small MAG group went ahead to visit this pristine little island in March, when the bottle trees start blooming in pink and white, the island itself is green from last season's rain and the wadi filled with water to refresh yourself after a sweating hike.
We camped at white beaches where we snorkeled and saw beautiful fishes in all color shades and collected shells in the size of our feet. In the morning we swam in the calm ocean and while having our breakfast we were greeted by dolphins swimming by. No better sight with your morning coffee .
We took a boat to a secluded white beach for some swimming in turquoise waters, snorkeling and just chilling at the beach. The first sight on our little fishing boat was a group of long nosed dolphins crossing our way. And in the clear waters we could see stingrays and colorful fish already without snorkeling.
We ran up white sand dunes with such a bright sand hurting our eyes from just being so brightly white.
In the mountains we picnicked under the most famous dragon blood trees and shared lunch with friendly yellow faced vultures. At night we set camp in the wadi, next to the little water stream.
While one week camping sounds a bit daunting considering your shower opportunities, we can say we had every day the chance to wash either in sea or even fresh water and not feel sweaty at all.
Our chef Hussein proved that camping cooking can be very diverse and has more to offer than only rice and fish. But there is nothing better than fresh fish from the ocean in all its variety - from grilled on open fire, fried, boiled. Hussein also made sure there was always enough chai for us - either as karak (with milk), with just some cloves or other spices but definitely with some sugar. Yemenis like their tea sweet... and we do now too.
This trip was rather a chilled MAG Adventure but it was one worth repeating in winter 2020. Socotra you have convinced us by your beauty and we will be back! We are thankful, that we were able to get to Socotra before we all were impacted by Covid-19. We wish you all health and happiness. Stay home and keep your head above the sand. This period will be over.