Omani Dates.

Dates.From my Oman files.

Fossil records show the date palm has existed for at least 50 million years.
Dates have been found on a number of neolithic sites, which would suggest that they were being eaten as much as 7,000 to 8,000 years ago.
They provide a range of essential nutrients, and are a good source of dietary potassium. The sugar content of ripe dates is about 80%; the rest consists of protein, fibre, and trace elements that include boron, cobalt, copper, fluorine, magnesium, manganese, selenium, and zinc.
Oman has more than 250 varieties of dates, and each region of the country will tell you theirs are the best. But I think of all, it has to be the ‘Khalas’, found in the Sharqiya and Dhahirah region, also Al Rostaq. The fruit is bright yellow, oval-shaped, and usually eaten fresh or half-dry.
Dates and qahwah arabiyya (coffee) is a fundamental part of Omani hospitality; even the poorest family will offer coffee & dates when one visits.

Afalaj in Misfat Al Abryeen.

Walking around with my new Fuji Xpro1 camera – a nice but frustrating experience.

I found that although it was nice not having a large SLR hanging from my shoulder, using the camera was less than intuitive. This is my fault not the cameras…….. I am so familiar with the layout of Nikon cameras that my fingers would not hit the right button unless I made a conscious effort and looked for which one I needed.

Another annoying problem was that I kept getting lost when it came to the display settings; I like grid lines (available) but they kept disappearing. The preview display would sometimes only show in the viewfinder and this seems to be why I lost the grid lines. I think I will need to re-read the instructions and stop making what for me (I thought) were intuitive selections – the old saying “when in doubt read the instructions !  🙂 ” is very apt.

Something I did find very good, was having a ‘proper’ viewfinder – none of this holding the camera at arms length and struggling with glare on the back screen.

That said, it was so nice being able to walk around and almost forget I had a camera with me, especially when negotiating difficult terrain.