From the big encyclopædia in the sky:
Dame Freya Madeline Stark. DBE.
In 1934, Stark sailed down the Red Sea to Aden and began a new adventure. She hoped to trace the frankincense route of the Hadhramaut, the hinterland of southern Arabia. Only a handful of Western explorers had ventured into the region but never as far or as widely as she. Her goal was to reach the ancient city of Shabwa, which was rumoured to have been the capital of the Queen of Sheba.
Click cover for Amazon link and note how rare and expensive most of her hardback books have become. Ex-library or well used books can be got at reasonable cost: many of her First addition, Mint & Fine used copies are not easily found.
The weather is still changeable, it was lovely and sunny two hours ago, but prior to that I got soaked while out shopping. Thunder & lightning with hailstones in the middle of May !!, the sun has a lot to answer for with its sunspot activity, only went for cat food.
“Stick to the forest-track, keep your spirits up, hope for the best, and with a tremendous slice of luck you may come out one day and see the Long Marshes lying below you, and beyond them, high in the East, the Lonely Mountain where dear old Smaug lives, though I hope he is not expecting you”. (Gandalf) J.R.R Tolkien.
In the foothills of the Ḥajar Mountains there are many tracks that have probably been in use since the Bronze Age if not before, quite a number are still well-trodden to this day. They would follow a Falaj (water channel) system to its source or between two villages and could quite often be several kilometres long.
This is the sort of view that would usually tell me it’s time I turned back, although sometimes if determined enough, I would take my boots off and wade. When the route I was following had a definite final destination and the water was not very deep, then wet I would get !! Quite often I would have been walking for 3 or 4 hours and if I wanted to find an abandoned village or the possibility of rock art, I would only have to make a return journey. Not being able to mark ‘done’ on my list, other than because it was just not possible to overcome an obstacle, would not satisfy my curiosity.