Wakan village is a very popular tourist attraction and this door must have been photographed hundreds of times: so thought I should add my two penneth.
I remember visiting this village long before it came onto the tourist route, probably 1987 if my memory serves me well. It sits about 2,000 meters above sea level in Wadi Mistal, tucked away in the Hajar Mountains. Famous for its apricot flowers which are in full bloom between the middle of May & the end of August. It was and in some respects still is a drive that requires a 4×4 and some experience with off-road driving on tracks that can deter even the most determined tourist. A little like Jebel Shams / Jebel Akhdar; when visitors see the hotels marked on the map, they set off in the newly hired car and find the track is not what they expected. Many times I have seen people either lost, stuck in wadi streams or so frightened because the edge has a drop off on one side of 200 or 300 hundred meters. Resulting in me not being able to pass them when coming from the opposite direction and needing to guided them passed my vehicle. Unfortunately it is the lack of knowledge and information given by the hire companies and hotels.
One example was when camping high in the mountains and late one evening a 4×4 stops and my daughter and I get asked “how far is Muscat?” we both looked a little shocked because it was getting dark and the road that these people were about to travel was very dangerous even in daylight. We suggested that the map they had been given was not very good and Muscat was at least 3 hours away, the road needed great care in daylight and driving at night was not to be recommended. They had some discussions with each other and took our recommendation of turning back rather than going on and missing the edge of the road which would have been either a very long drop or crash into a rock face.
Despite the many tourist intrusions in recent years, the locals remain very welcoming, as happens in a lot of these traditional villages that have been added to the tourist map. Although I did despair sometimes, when I saw a total lack of awareness by some visitors of the cultural sensitivities of the occupants. It probably means that in a few years, the open & hospitable welcome that tradition dictates for visitors will be lost.
Looking at the above image – Wakan is the village left of centre and the track can just be seen snaking down the mountain on the right of the village.
Intricately carved door.
Nikon D800 with Afs 35mm f1.4G.
I have a B&W version of this door made around November 2014 : where does the time go !
Nikon F4 / Nikkor 50mm f1.8 D AF on Ilford HP5 Plus.
Another from my negative files.
The building where this was made no longer exists: water erosion and general neglect took its toll.
Mud brick buildings at some of the ruins in Oman have suffered with the last two major cyclonic storms Gonu & Phet. Mud brick is very strong but needs constant attention if it is not to erode during heavy rain storms.
Door detail from Birkat al Mouz abandoned village.
How long before the lock is on its own?
This door has seen many attempts at repair, I think it’s in the last stages of abandonment & decay.
Decorated for luck & welcome.
A door slowly being taken over by a plant – the plant will win in the end.
This must have been a very fine & colourful door.
The problem with checking files after all my stuff was delivered from Oman is finding images that I had forgotten about.
I had a habit of using my Digital camera for colour, then moving the lens to a film camera for B&W. As long as I did not disturb the tripod, I was able to get exactly the same image on film. A laborious task you may think, but if someone saw me change cameras (especially when it was the D800 to Nikon F2SB) it always ended in a conversation about how old the camera was. Gosh you still use film, I remember my Father or my Mother had a film camera. You must visit my village and take coffee & dates, I will show you some good places for photographs. That statement was gold dust ! I have lost count of the times I had been shown a place I didn’t know existed.
The one thing I take away from Oman is the hospitality given to visitors/strangers: I miss the welcoming face combined with “can I help you?” or “please come and have coffee” we don’t have that here.
This person got the number of locks right.
This one thought it was the right number but the elements have the last laugh.
I think we have an epidemic see earlier post. 🙂
The owner would seem to have been a little paranoid 😉
The remains of blue paint.
Maybe a rethink was needed here !!
Another adventure beckons.
During my visits to these abandoned villages, I am always intrigued by the amount of doors I find locked.
There can be nothing left of the building but the door, & it’s locked!
Almost as if the rooms are silently waiting the return of the occupants.
It must have been a very colourful place ! Signs of blue, green, red & yellow paint everywhere.