Arabian Sea coast, Oman
“We continued our journey from the roadstead of Hasik for four days, and came to the Hill of Lum’an, in the midst of the sea. On top of it is a hermitage built of stone, with a roofing of fish bones, and with a pool of collected rainwater outside it.”
The accepted opinion about this – nobody has ever identified the Hill of Lum’an - is that it is Hallaniya, one of the Kuria Muria islands. The only major drawback about this explanation is that Ibn B said he had taken 4 days to get there and it is only 20 miles from Hasik. But after speaking with Salem who explained that his parents had once undertaken a boat journey to Sur when the wind dropped and they did not move an inch for days, it became a possible explanation for the puzzle, although I still did not like it – when Ibn B got stuck in the doldrums in the Sea of China he mentioned it, so if it had taken him 4 days to travel to an island 20 miles away, why had he not explained why?
In any event Ibn B’s words proved to be an insurmountable problem for me as I could not get to Hallaniya. I could have rented a basic dhow from Mirbat, and I went to its little harbor to inspect the possibilities. I was not encouraged, the idea of being the only woman on such a boat did not appeal to me for various reasons. The trip might last for 12 hours or if the weather turned nasty for any number of days. I abandoned the idea of even beginning negotiations on the price and looked for another way.