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Doodlebugging in Oman


I worked in the Southern Deserts and Mountains of Oman near a town called Salalah ('near' meaning within a few hundred miles!).  The crew was called Ray-5 and it had a bit of a reputation for wild parties.  Meatloaf's "Bat Out Of Hell" became the crew anthem.  Below is a pic of me (dart player) and a guy called Roger who is sporting the crew T-Shirt.



The crew was often looked down upon by the more placid doodlebuggers in the country.  But when you consider that the work meant at least 12 hours in the blazing desert, 7 days a week, 365 days a year carrying out difficult and sometimes dangerous tasks, then the "Work hard, Play hard" ethic of Ray-5 was not too difficult to understand, even if it was frowned upon.  The next pic shows "Loopy" safely carrying out some dangerous work.

Yes, that is real dynamite, yes that is a real cigarette, and yes that is real hair (sorry John!)


The idea was to bash the ground as hard as you could and record the seismic waves produced.  Sometimes a large truck would be used to drop a weight from a height - called a Weight Truck would you believe.

The high centre of gravity of the truck combined with very uneven terrain can produce some interesting side effects...

... On its side effects!


And sometimes this effect was noticed even on the more stable trucks...


I found the Omanis to be, on the whole, a friendly bunch of people.  Which is more than can be said for some of the more long standing indigenous life forms...



This rather gruesome looking creature was often called a Camel Spider, but its true name is a Sun Spider.  They were regular visitors to the desert camps, and often in gangs.  This one was not particularly large for a Camel Spider, measuring in at just 6 inches leg span!  If I remember correctly it is not a spider at all but is more closely related to a scorpion - not that that makes it any more friendly!

FUTURE NOTE: I have since carried out research into these creatures that dispells the myths that surround them (eating you in your sleep, etc.). You can find my report here <Camel_Spider in my <Fairly Interesting> pages.



That's all for now, but I have literally hundreds of doodlebugging pics from Oman.  Trouble is they are all on photographic paper. There were no digital cameras when I was a doodlebugger. I'll post more when I get time.

Also, I will be going to Oman as a tourist in a few weeks time - See my Oman Page.

If, 25 years ago, you told me that one day I would be paying a lot of money to come back to Oman as a tourist, I would have said you were bonkers.  But now I am actually looking forward to it.


Ma-Salama MFs.