The road from Thumrayt into Al Mazyunah leads into the northeast desert of Yemen and my destination Seyoun as I decided this was a great centre for visiting the Hadramawt.
We stopped in Rimah some half way on our journey for lunch that, at 1,000Yemeni Riyals (roughly 2 Omani Rials), was about twice the cost of a similar rice and meat dish in Oman. Eventually, I arrived in the old town of Seyoun where I intended to stay for a few nights.
My hotel was just off the main square where the old Palace of the Al Katheri Sultans, a confection of white plaster, dominates the town, though today it is a museum. Inside is a collection of local artefacts, including photographs by Dame Freya Stark, the British explorer who arrived in the 1930s, travelling by herself. The next day a relative of a friend in Salalah met me and we travelled over the next few days into Tarim with its amazing Al Midhar mosque whose mud-brick minaret towers over 40meters in the air and Shibam.
Shibam is almost as it was 500 years ago a veritable citadel of mud-brick tower houses set in the Wadi Hadramawt. Inside the town I found the Haroun al Rashid mosque, founded in the 10th c , in one one of the numerous small piazzas throughout the town.
Visiting the Hadramawt for a week, I left for Mukalla, allowing time to explore Wadi Dawan Yemen.
Though less wealthy the houses here were particularly sympathetic to the landscape. In Wadi Dawan I was fortunate to meet a bee-keeper whose several dozen hives are individually locked, so valuable is honey here.
When I managed BHS in Saudi Arabia, honey from Wadi Dawan was sold for around 600 Saudi riyals (about 160USDollars) a litre outside the Al Khobar BHS store; so I was excited to find a source here. Then it was up past the Bugshan Palace Khaila and onto Mukalla.
Mukalla is the main port for the Hadramawt, its whitewashed houses and narrow streets were a pleasure to wander through. My only disappointment was a very poor meal of fish, frozen rather than fresh, in a port of the Arabian Sea!
Finally, after a couple of nights in Mukalla, it took a day to drive along the coastal road (much of which was financed by Oman) before arriving into Salalah during the late evening.