An Englishman born in Pil (home of my paternal grandparents - another story) became the first 'white man' to cross the Rub Al Khali from Salalah to Doha in 1930 -31. He was assisted by many camels and tribesmen throughout the 60 day journey. His name was Bertram Thomas.
85 years later, this journey will be recreated. My English friend Mark Evans has put together a small team of people - two Omanis, himself, and a handful of camels to walk the 1100-1200 kilometres following in Bertram Thomas's footsteps. In addition will be be two others, driving the two support vehicles, capturing the journey on movie and still photography, searching for archeological items, etc.
I am fortunate to be one of those two support people - and may become the first Kiwi to cross the Rub Al Khali. I depart NZ on the 15th November 2015. The actual journey will commence on the 10th December at Salalah - the same day Thomas started 85 years ago. I am due back home on 26th February 2016.
The expedition can be followed on www.crossingtheemptyquarter.com
|Bertram Thomas's map 1930-31 (the solid red line is the route we plan to follow)|