Even though in most of these mountain villages, there is an abundance of water available; that is why they are situated where they are. None of it is piped into the house from source. It was a daily job getting water from aquifers with no certainty of mineral content (resulting in a lot of kidney stones) or cleanliness. The government now tests all water used for human consumption, so in these remoter areas it is delivered by water truck, hence the white tower containers on each roof.
Sorting & checking backup files before I pack my dark-room & computer plus printer for its return to the UK. It’s been a great adventure, even if work got in the way sometimes.
I should not complain because it was through work that I did my first trip into the desert. Someone told me about an airstrip abandoned just after WWII, where Kittyhawk engines could still be found on the shore at the end of what was left of the runway. The Kittyhawk was famous for its ‘Shark mouth’ on the engine air intake: made famous by No. 112 Squadron of the Royal Air Force who first painted this on their aircraft during the North Africa campaign in 1941. They copied the idea from Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Bf 110’s which had been painted with similar markings.
Given a military ‘Ragtop’ Land rover & basic directions, with instructions that I could get fuel from any military base I passed (free) and not to get lost because it would be a long walk; off I went. Directions back then were rudimentary and consisted of things like “follow the sand track until you see a pole with a tin can on it” or “at the hill with 3 old towers, turn right”…… and so it went. I say this to people now and they stare at me in disbelieve, but anyone who had been here in the early days will confirm my comments on this. The only black-top roads were around Muscat.
I was away two days and although I got rather lost a couple of times, I did find it. Unfortunately the only engines were rusty and not really identifiable as coming from an aircraft. But I was hooked and eventually got my own Series 200 Discovery, two spare tires, tool kit, air-jack and a proper tent with lots of old Ordinance Survey maps. It has been non-stop ever since.
Still a couple of weeks left and I’m now in the ‘Where do I put everything & how have I acquired so much stuff !! stage‘ most of it being books & camera equipment that cannot be easily replaced, so must be shipped back.
I still have lots of negatives that need scanning, so am not about to close this blog, but there will not be much more than the odd image until I am settled back in UK.
I started this blog on the 21st May 2010 with this image:
Here we are 18th June 2017 and 2159 images later, more comments & likes than I ever expected, which made it all worthwhile and has been much appreciated: but enough is enough & time I put my feet up with a good book & the odd glass or two of Laphroaig. Well that’s the plan but, we shall see 😎
The technical description from my geology book says:
Rillenkarren.- Are forms of dissolution on the surface of the rocks that consist of small channels separated by sharp crests configuring a network of tight more or less parallel gullies next to each other. Its Genesis is linked to the dissolution of the rock by the sheet of water that forms on it as a local run-off.
A quick stop on my way to Birkat Al-Mawz (Birkat Al Mouz) this morning.
I’m afraid there are going to be more posts about ruined villages in the next few days: I spent this morning going around the three abandoned areas of Birkat Al Mouz.
These abandoned villages were important stopping places on the camel route between Muscat and Al Buraimi. A camel In caravan can make about 20 miles a day and Al Buraimi was at least 350 miles by dirt track from Muscat; a long trip of many days, needing plenty of rest stops en-route.
The village (now town) of Al Buraimi was an important juncture between Oman proper & the Persian Gulf ‘Arabian Gulf‘ for some – depending on which map you look at and its age.
These traps are quite common on the Jebel but very few are in perfect working order. This one on the other hand would only need the front drop-stone lifting and supported by a stick: it would then be ready for the unfortunate wolf.
In case anyone is interested: it’s at about 9500ft & unfortunately for most people, in the restricted area.
Another route that I travel for work and during this time of year; camping trips so that I can get away from the heat.
Unfortunately with images made during the summer months, it is very easy to see the different layers of pollution, sand & dust that
get trapped due to the heat.