16 June 2024

Just in case anyone thinks that overlanding is a bed of roses, here’s another aspect of it.

When we arrived last night and started to set up the kitchen, a plague of desert flies of biblical proportion descended upon us. They got everywhere and were as persistent as hell. About a dozen managed to make their way into my tent, despite my best efforts to avoid this happening. I hunted them down ruthlessly one by one until there were none left.

I awoke at around midnight shivering so violently I thought my bones might break. Then I developed a fever and got so hot I thought I might combust. But I didn’t. The temperature dropped, my sinuses popped and I fell back into a restless sleep. I feel rough now and looking forward to the next few days in a hotel in Sulalah.

I never knew sand could be so dirty. And fine. I have a powerful headlamp with the ability to focus into a narrow powerful beam. I did this last night and was surprised at the huge amount of dust in the beam. When I shone it up into the sky, it went up about 100 m and the beam was almost white with dust. I thought to myself, that’s going into my lungs.

It’s also so fine that it sticks to everything and makes everything look very scruffy and dirty. It gets on my shirt and my shorts and my sandals and I look almost like a homeless person. But then, we all do and it brushes off easy enough too.

Another aspect of the very fine dust is that is everywhere in the atmosphere and this makes difficult to see far. On the journey here, it seemed like there was a fog in the distance. Even when there are mountains they seem faded because of the dust.

I’m not complaining, just noticing that there are things here a little bit different to what I’m used to. And that’s okay. Adjusting to the unknown is part of the experience of overlanding.

(Please click on any thumbnail above to enlarge the whole gallery for full size sliding photos)

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