The movie clich√© holds that a soldier’s rifle is his best friend. For most of 1985, this Land Rover was my ‘rifle’. It held 80 gallons gas in two tanks, 20 gallons of water and a survival kit with nutrient rich emergency rations. It also had a VHF radio. The standing rule was to ‘stay with your vehicle’ at all times – it being much easier to see a vehicle in this vast emptiness than an individual.
I’d been too nervous to carry a camera with me on my first tour of Libya. But, having spent ten weeks there I realized I could carry a point-and-shoot with me, as long as I didn’t take pictures of military or police installations. Fortunately where I was assigned there were few of those.
For my second tour I found myself transferred to Party 205 (my first tour had been with Party 373). Party 205 was contracted to undertake a seismic survey in part of Concession 20 for the Sirte Oil Company (which had been Exxon (or Esso in the UK) prior to nationalization by Colonel Ghadafi).
So I bought myself and Olympus XA rangefinder camera and a bunch of Fuji Velvia slide film and stuffed them in my luggage before setting out for my second tour.
Concession 20 lies west of the oasis town of Maradah and straddles the road to Zillah. A pipeline crosses the highway at Lat. 29.228666, Long. 18.753421. Our camp was east-south-east along this pipeline but this photo was taken a few miles north of the highway and pipeline intersection.
As I’ve mentioned in the narrative on some of my Mojave Desert photos, most of my time in Libya was spent in areas like this, totally devoid of any vegetation. Clouds were also few and far between.