Driving through the highways in Oman, there’s one sight that you’re sure to see, time after time. A Toyota Land Cruiser J series. Beaten. Rusty. Or spanking new. And still cruising.
Am not sure why, but the 2-door SUV and the 2-door pickup seem to be a favourite vehicle of choice for many Omanis, and especially fishermen by the coast. On any day, you can spot several of them rumbling along the highway, desert roads and along the beaches in varying condition. Shiny brand new, or rusted and beaten down, they all seem to keep going on and on.
Perhaps it is because they are mostly all 2-door models that were available as an SUV or a pickup. In fact, the SUV was slightly longer than the Jeep Wrangler. Or maybe it is that there is something likeable about a 2-door SUV. Yes, I’m looking at you, Toyota J series, Land Rover Defender, Nissan Patrol and Jeep Wrangler. They all feel like an ‘I, me, myself’ kind of vehicle. Just you and the vehicle, and perhaps an extra passenger on the side, if you wanted one. I love them.
On one of those days when we had absolutely no idea what to do with our time, my travel friend and I decided to head out of Muscat and see what it offered us. After filling up our SUV with gas, we hit the road, with no destination in mind.
After driving around aimlessly for hours, we ended up in seaside town of Quriyat, about a 100 odd kilometers East of Muscat. With no roadside diner in sight, we figured that if we headed towards the beach, we would be able to find a small shack restaurant that would serve us a quick lunch, preferable with fish on the menu.
Instead what we got was a junked Toyota Land Cruiser J40 series, seemingly left to defend itself against the elements. While it made for a sad sight, it also made for a perfect photo-op to capture this beast in all its beauty, with the sea and fishing boats making for an excellent backdrop.
These vehicles are rugged beasts, sturdy and dependable. And seem to go on and on forever. Well, nearly. No wonder the Toyota Land Cruiser J series is the vehicle of choice for everyone. Seriously, nearly everyone.
The classic J series is an especially favourite vehicle of mine. Unfortunately, or maybe not, the only ones I own are the Matchbox die-cast ones. I guess, sometimes, something is better than nothing.