Concluding Drew’s expedition to Oman in the 1980s …
End of the Road
You’ve had enough of me swinging the old djinn’s lamp; so here are a few random memories and photos to wrap things up.
The early-evening trip to the souk: always interesting. On one occasion we went to a coastal market, in a corner of which was an astonishing precious-metals section. Who were the customers for all that gold? Sailors, we were told. But how did the traders finance their inventory?? Ahah! – C@W …
A typical Oman surprise: on a beach, in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by ruins – the Sultan’s Marine Biology institute (!)
Al Bustan: this kind of crazy place is two-a-penny in the Gulf nowadays but not so 30 years ago. Built for when it was Oman’s turn to host the rotating meetings of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Oman being a country where booze is OK in licensed premises, and many of the GCC boys being quite unable to hold their liquor … it would get regularly trashed.
Back to the serious stuff. I wrote before about how, during the Jebel campaign, the RAF shot up the rebel centre of Tanuf, which was left derelict as a lesson. This was their leader Suleiman’s fort, also abandoned and derelict. It houses the most ghastly oubliette – the fate of his prisoners doesn’t bear thinking about.
This was as far towards the ‘tribal reservation‘ of the Jebel that we could reach, even with a military pass. The end of the road …
Photos © Nick Drew 2016