Marta Leite Castro in Oman

A hot time of year to work, but Marta Leite Castro was so cool

It was a pleasure to work with Marta Leite Castro and cameraman Lima.

Marta and Lima at Work in Oman
Marta and Lima at Work in Oman

They were in Muscat for an upcoming Portuguese TV series . We were able to organize some great angles for the filming and Muscat won over another fan.

Lima filming Omans coast
Lima filming Omans coast

Bull Fights in Oman

Friday afternoon is the traditional time for a few villages on Oman’s Batina coast to hold Bull Fights and recently I went to two.

Bull Fight Barka Oman
Bull Fight Barka Oman

These Bull Fights, rather than a Spanish style fight where a Matador kills a Bull, are contests between two evenly matched bulls.

Bull Fight Khaboora Oman
Bull Fight Khaboora Oman

The Bulls are usually an owners pride and joy and much personal prestige hangs on the result. The Bulls are given heroic names like Antar (an ancient Arab hero) or even modern ones perhaps Arnold (after Arnold Schwarzenegger).

Bull Fight Khaboora Oman
Bull Fight Khaboora Oman

These are said to have been brought into Oman by the Portuguese in the 16thc, and as they are only popular on the thin coastal strip that was under Portugal’s influence this does seem probable. Owners may have several Bulls who are lead onto the arena under the supervision of a ‘Master of Ceremonies’ often complete with loudspeaker.

Bull Fight Barka Oman
Bull Fight Barka Oman

The contest is to have the two bulls use brute force to make the other animal submit and run away. Sometimes the losing opponent runs before the contest, other times the animals are so evenly matched that after 5 minutes or so they are separated.

Bull Fight Khaboora Oman
Bull Fight Khaboora Oman

Doubtless, with a ton of animal on each side injuries to the animals happen, though after innumerable visits I’ve never seen any; indeed with a value in excess of luxury cars, its in the owner’s interest to keep it from happening.

Oman’s Birds

Oman is home or visited by almost 500 species of Bird; we were delighted to see two of the most magnificent.

Skirting around Jebel Samhan in Dhofar we had two wonderful experiences . Over the coastal region two Verreaux’s Eagles cavorted in the sky above. These are probably the largest Eagles in Oman and since they pair for a long time – I assume this was a male and female.

Verreaux’s Eagles in the skies of Dhofar
Verreaux’s Eagles in the skies of Dhofar

Larger still – a flock (if that’s the appropriate name ) of 8 Griffin Vultures glided away over the mountain plateau. The Griffin, along with the Lappet Faced, is Oman’s largest Raptor .

One of a flock of 8 Griffin Vultures over Dhofars Mountains
One of a flock of 8 Griffin Vultures over Dhofars Mountains

 

Turtles on Masirah Island Oman

Masirah Island’s Turtles were the subject for the HAO this evening

Elayne Looker gave a very nice presentation to the Historical Association of Oman about Masirah Island’s Turtles in Oman.

Masirah Island's Turtles in Oman with Elayne Looker
Elayne Looker brought some massive Turtle skulls to her talk, on the right is a Leatherback and next to it is a Loggerhead skull..

She has been surveying and researching on Masirah Island where the worlds largest population of Loggerhead Turtles nest . Elayne gives training to all Turtle Rangers in Oman and certainly the ones at Ras Al Jinz are passing her information on to visitors. Amongst the hazards turtles face are tourism properties near beaches, and the example of one on the main turtle beach in Masirah was mentioned. Other hazards are plastic bags, which resemble jellyfish a key food for many turtles and ‘J’ hooks used to catch fish.

Oman’s Ministry of Tourism enters the Cruise business

Loaloat Al Behar at berth in Mina Sultan Qaboos Oman

With the arrival of the Loaloat Al Behar in Mina Sultan Qaboos, Oman’s Ministry of Tourism enters the Cruise business.  This was the last yacht of H.M. Sultan Qaboos and was given to Oman’s Ministry of Tourism on arrival of the new very splendid Al Said – its replacement.

Loaloat al Behar at berth in Mina Sultan Qaboos
Loaloat al Behar at berth in Mina Sultan Qaboos

Loaloat Al Behar has been refitted in Dubai as a mini (if that’s the right word for 100meters) cruise ship  or maxi yacht. Though the deck does not have a pool it does have a mini Jacuzzi is available to cool off in. It will probably appeal to large families or a holiday with friends .

I wonder what the chartering fee will be .