Geological research in the mountains of Oman; and a friend of mine, a fellow geologist, whose name I have now forgotten; 1976/77.
To say that this area is rugged is vast understatement. But, as the song goes, “we were much younger then”, and we had excellent, tough Land Rovers to transport us into remote places – this very rigorous off road driving stood me in good stead when, a few years later, I was in Kenya.
But I look at this picture now and wonder what on earth would have happened if we’d had an accident or some other disaster – we had no radios or mobile phones – how we would have notified the outside world, or been extricated from these wilds, doesn’t bear thinking about.
As part of our preparation for this work, we all had to learn to administer, to others and to ourselves, intravenous injections of serum in case of snake bites or scorpion stings – I can’t remember encountering any snakes, but scorpions were commonplace under stones and pebbles. The great weak link in all of this medical preparation was me, for as soon as I saw the hypodermic needle probing about trying to find a vein, my head started to feel like it was bursting – and the next thing I knew, I was lying on the floor, looking up at a ring of people laughing down at me!
We never had any of these bites or stings – although I remember a hornet sting on my neck – but the scenario would have been all too predictable >>> whether one of my colleagues was stung, or I was alone and stung >>> out would come the needle and one british geologist would have been flat out on the ground – very likely killing whatever had stung him by collapsing on it!
UPDATE 2021: looking back on this now, I can only say that I feel both very grateful and very privileged to have been able to be in such wild, remote and desolate places. The experiences have stayed with me, and have really influenced my whole outlook on the world and, indeed, on Life in general.
Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window – recommended.
Technique: Practica LTL with 50mm Tessar lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide film rated at 64 ISO; converted into mono, and toned, in Silver Efex Pro 2.