Part of my lot early one morning in February involved a new continent, and an altogether new type of overland vehicle. I was in Dubai, my first time of touring any part of Asia, with a Toyota Land Cruiser six wheel drive loaded with camping kit in the driveway and ready to go.
This delightful prospect had kept me awake for three months − those in which the trip had been proposed and organised. It was now imminent.
Shaun and Andronette Mayer, South African expats living in Dubai, had approached me with the idea of driving across Oman. That idea alone had been enough to stir my wanderlust. It turned out
that, for over a decade, the two of them had made overland touring in that part of the world a specialty. They had also been part of an editorial team that has produced a number of guidebooks for the area. So, my hosts were well-qualified to show me how to take full advantage of Oman.
The brief to me was: “Get yourself here with a toothbrush and driving licence. We will do the rest.” This made me a bit nervous.
Many years ago, under similar guidance, I had found myself alone next to a river with a vehicle, but no fuel, with a Swiss-Army knife as my only tool, and facing a night spent on the open dirt with no sleeping comforts of any kind. Not even a blanket. But that’s for another campfire.
In contrast, Shaun and Andronette pulled out all the stops and showed my wife Gwynn and me an absolutely wonderful time in the desert. But, topping everything was the truck.