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11 Jan 2019

Faces of Oman

 I found people in Oman both photogenic and very helpful when I asked if I could photograph them. I never asked any women as this is a definite "no,no" but otherwise a broad smile and a wave of the camera or if they spoke English-which many do-a short "photo?" and they were fine. I even had people approach me in the street asking me to take their photo. You don't get people more friendly than that.
Here's a selection of some of the people photos from the trip. The first-above-was taken atthe back of the wonderful Muttrah Souk. There was a small square with groups of men sitting around in groups watching the world go by. This group watched me photo a nearby group and when I raised my camera and waved it at them the guy in the centre gave me a thumbs up.





These four photos were all taken in the same area as the top photo on my first afternoon in Muscat. My wife was still feeling jetlagged so I took a taxi for the 20 minute drive to the port of Muttrah and wandered through the maze of alleys of the souk with camera in hand. The two smiling guys in the bottom photo saw me taking the top photo and asked me if I would photograph them. I was happy to oblige. The guy in the shot above them is a barber . His shop was still shut mid afternoon and he was sitting outside playing with his smartphone. Something which many Omanis do much of the time.

8 Jan 2019

A lucky shot


This photo was taken as we were driving through the small desert fringe village of Bidiyah in Oman two weeks ago. A small group of children were waving to us so we pulled over and I took some not special photos of them. Then as we pulled away the two smallest children in the group ran beside the Toyota shouting and laughing. Luckily my window was still down but I did not have time to lift the camera to my eye or look at the LCD screen so I just held the camera out and  pressed the shutter release hoping for the best.
It would have ideal not to have caught the edge of the window in shot but it is great that the camera auto focussed on the children so quickly. The sheer delight on the children's faces makes the shot for me. And don't the children look fit and healthy? It must be all that Vitamin D from the sunshine and eating that camel meat.

5 Jan 2019

Amazing Oman


Back in Australia last Wednesday after a wonderful albeit short trip to Oman over Christmas. It definitely qualifies as one of the most interesting countries I have ever visited.
The people are very friendly and polite. The infrastructure, particularly the airports, is very impressive. The roads are great, the driving standards are high and the drivers are patient. The cities are very clean and litter free-not a sign of graffitti- and the floral displays and topiary in the cities and big towns are wonderful. The mountains are harsh and high. The desert well it's sandy.
It is a very conservative muslim country but also moderate and tasteful. No blingy Bentleys -well maybe one-and no black Lambos or Porsche GT3s although plenty of Porsche Cayennes and Range Rovers.
Photos and story to follow.

4 Jan 2019

The olive grove


Back in May we were staying in the charming village of Estoi inland from Faro in the Algarve, Portugal.  On an early morning walk down the back lane to my hotel I spotted this abandoned olive groves through a locked gate. It was part of the grounds of a once imposing but now abandoned house. The sun was in the wrong place for a photo but I came back in early eveing to take this photo. You can see abandoned gardens and olive groves beside abandoned farms and houses throughout the Mediterranean region. I usually see them when I am driving and when the sun is in the wrong place but this time I was lucky.

29 Dec 2018

Old timer



Seen at the HSRCA Tasman Revival meeting last month at Sydney MotorSportPark. A 1960's vintage 2.5 litre Cooper Climax Yeoman Credit Racing Team driven at the time by Roy Salvadori. Now owned and raced by Don Thallon seen above fettling the engine. He could not get the engine to rev out. He suspected that the fuel was foaming in the carby bowls but he could not fix the problem which had plagued him at a previous meeting. He drove down from Brisbane with the car in his van. Just how it used to be. It's a long way to come for the car to misbehave.
I would have seen this very car racing in the UK -definitely at wonderful Crystal Palace and probably also at Brands Hatch and Goodwood. The car was built by Cooper at their Surbiton factory near where I then lived . During the summer holidays I used to cycle upto the Cooper works and see the cars being built.
This car with its 2.5 litre Coventry Climax engine is now very valuable. It is really very basic. Just chassis tubes-not a spaceframe. No crash resitance features. The drivers who raced wheel to wheel in cars of this era on circuits which were very dangerous were astonishingly brave. And I reckon Don is very brave driving it today. Great to see it still here in Australia and great to see it racing. I hope you fix that problem Don.
Don working on those pesky Webers

Original Yeoman Credit decal


Neat Don Thallon artwork
On the dummy grid. Second row left.

23 Dec 2018

Seasons greetings






Seasons greetings to Rolling Road readers wherever you are. Drive safely, swim between the flags, plenty of sunscreen or wrap up warm and stay indoors.

19 Dec 2018

Happiness is an empty beach.



Happiness is a good book, a cloudless sky, plenty of sunscreen, a good hat, a beach chair and above all else an empty beach.
Terrigal Beach early last week. This week all the schools have finished for the summer holiday. The town is filling fast. The beach now is very different. Summer in Australia.

11 Dec 2018

Sad






It is the season to be jolly but here's a sad photo. It was taken at Ngwe Saung Beach in Myanmar back in March.See my earlier story on this weird place Ngwe Saung Beach
I was walking up the pristine and almost empty beach when I was approached by this beach vendor. It was hot,there were no customers for kilometres and she was obviously hopeful that this one tourist -me-was going to make her day. I was wearing my swimming shorts. I was not carrying any money. I had nothing to give her. I took her photo. I felt really bad about it. I still do.

6 Dec 2018

A street in Hong Kong






Supercars on a street on Hong Kong island. Two years ago I saw a convoy of supercars-Ferraris, Porsches, Aston Martins, Lamborghinis and Mclarens very early in the morning heading at high speed alongside the harbour. Their weekly fang maybe.

4 Dec 2018

The art of the deal.


The art of the deal. For you sir special price.The jade market, Hong Kong. The market is a shadow of its former self. just hanging on in very rundown buildings. The traders are old and so are the customers.