I am back from my assignment for the Netherlands version of National Geographic Traveler.
I must admit, the climate in the Netherlands is much more conducive to clear thinking. From the moment we stepped onto the tarmac in Oman, it was about heat and humidity. Please note, I have become accustomed to stepping out of airplanes and being greeted with a different climate, but stepping out of the plane in Muscat was like walking in to a brick wall of fire and water. It was +45 and humid. To survive in the Capital, Omanis travel between air conditioned atmospheres as quickly as possible. When one taxi driver was asked what they did before air conditioning and he simply responded, ‘It was bad’.
The interesting thing about Oman was the layer of modern paint applied over a multi-thousand year history. It has been modernized in 30 years and once you break through that layer of paint, it shows. However, I think that I will let Thijs Joosten, the writer and editor of NG Traveler tell us more when his article is published.
On another note, I have never been to such a harsh climate for photography gear. Even the Arctic was nicer. Oman has some serious heat and some serious humidity. Stepping outside during the day with your cameras, is like stepping into a swimming pool atmosphere, the lenses fog right up. And Oman has sand so fine a simple gust of wind blows it everywhere.
A tip for future travelers, don’t wear ‘flip flops’ in the desert, the sand that gets kicked up when you ‘flop’ is at a perfect angle to cover your camera on your shoulder.
I drove from Muscat to Salalah and my vehicle's windscreen is now pitted – the result of flying sand; a real test for anything