Wednesday, October 20, 2010

our first experience of the desert

honestly, I don't know what I was thinking when I first suggested a camel ride to Joe. I didn't think of getting on the beast nor did I think of how we would be sitting nor did I even ponder on the camel taking off, running across the desert with me sitting on top, looking very much like Lawrence of Arabia. no. didn't think of that at all


I saw this:

[please God, don't put me on the lead camel]

that is when i realised that i had to get up there somehow and sit & not fall off. fear started to well up inside. but there was nothing i could do now, as we had booked and paid and I was here.

some camels had nose bags.. because they bite, or they take great delight in nibbling wallets and such from pockets. Trevor had to wear a nosebag and thank heavens for that..because he was right behind Joe & I..
after choosing our glamorous helmet & sheepskin saddle.. we clamboured on [the camel sits down while we do this].. not an easy feat nor did I look elegant. the camel gets up back legs first which means that while it is getting up, you have to hang on and lean right back. I hung on all right..with both hands til my knuckles were white [continuing to do this the whole time of the ride] {and of course, we got the lead camel whose name was Wombat (thankyou God)}

Uluru. at sunset. looking from the camels back [the rock is not red. it is grey. but the colours that it goes through during the day are amazing. red, purple, brilliant orange]

our cameleer Rowan, a wealth of knowledge. stopping periodically to tell us some tales of camel history in the desert. as he stopped, he would loop our camels lead around a spindly looking bush.. and kept saying 'stand up Wombat' as our camel continued to paw the ground..

I was in a constant state of fear. of falling over this head [wombat had a bad habit of stopping suddenly and taking a snack..] ..

our cameleer took photos for us.. I tried so hard not to grimace

as we arrived back at the camel pen.. I knew we had to get off.. still scared stiff..holding on while the camel dropped to the ground & then taken inside for supper [mine was red wine, lord, I needed it] plus some home made beer bread [of which they gave us the recipe (the recipe is on my recipe page at top)], dipped in balsamic vinegar & olive oil mix, the dukka [made from bush spices] - quite delicious]. we could then say thankyou to our camel.. if we so wished.

[brave girl..]

more photos here: ADVENTURES IN THE DESERT

Notes from my daily journal:
"I saw red dragon flies in the desert. petrified on the camel ride. did i enjoy it? no. I was constantly afraid of the camel sitting down with no warning. would i do it again. yes.
the coolness of the evening air, the perfume of desert heath myrtle [so sweet and strong like bush honey]. the lushness of the desert. the redness of the sand. the colours of Uluru at sunset and the absolute still-ness and quietness of the desert saturated my whole being"


amelia said...

All in all it looks like a very positive experience!! I have to admit to laughing at your description of the camel ride!! :) I'm sure it was worth every grimace though!! I'd love to have the opportunity but probably never will!!
Ayers rock is very beautiful.

james said...


Your notes from the daily journal really captures the immediacy of your wonderful vacation experience. Both my dh and I enjoyed seeing the picture of you and Joe riding a camel.

Hugs from Julie

gemma said...

Great adventure. Looks like FUN?! I love the comments in your journal too and understand about the stillness saturating your being(well said). Amazing red dragonflies were showing up all across the planet.

Winterwood said...

I just adore the smell of that bush honey! its so nice aftr a hot day! You were very brave to hav gone on that camel - I dont know if I would!!

mxtodis123 said...

Thanks for having me here. I don't know how you did it, my friend. Ha, when hubby talked me into horseback riding, I caused such a commotion they had to take me off the horse and give me a tamer kiddie horse.

A bird in the hand said...

Now you can list it under the heading: Things I was afraid of but did anyway!

Bravo! I rode on a camel once, but I was very young and fearless...


Holly said...

OH Oh OHHHH! I would LOVE to do this, you lucky girl! How cool is this?!

Manchester Lass, Now and Then said...

I've never really thought about riding a camel until now:) You were very brave Robyn and it did look like so much fun. The photo of Uluru looks amazing and I really love the one of you and Joe on the camel with Uluru in the background. Oh what fun....

Annie said...

This looks like so much fun, Robyn. My daughter was in Tunisia a few years ago and she rode a camel out of Douz which is on the edge of the Sahara Desert. What a dream. I would love to ride a camel - anywhere. I hear there are camels in Texas. I'll have to check that out. Still far away but, domestic, so do-able.

Ruth said...

You are braver than me - I chickened out of a camel ride when I went to North Africa...

Janet said...

What a fantastic experience! I'm sure it's something you won't soon forget.

The photo of Uluru at sunset is beautiful. I love your notes....very descriptive.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Hahahahaha, you're a seasoned camel jockey now, Miss*R! I've never had an opportunity to ride a camel, but I would be leery of it too and hanging on for dear life. My Rare One rode a camel in Egypt when she visited the pyramids many years ago.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

And I just discovered your other photos of "Camel-lot" under the "Adventures" tab at the top of your blog! You were very brave to feel the fear, but do it anyway!

"She seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if she had surprised a butterfly in the Winter woods"
(edith wharton)