Thursday, September 2, 2010

What not to do on a camel

A while ago, before my blogger friend, Diane and her husband left on their wonderful trip  "23 Day Spectacular Rockies & Alaskan Cruise", Diane posted a silly photo of herself on her blog. You can see her silly photo post  here  

She challenged anyone reading her post to post a silly photo of themselves. I, like many others, loved the post and commented on it.

At the time I had no "silly" photos of me and said so. IIn fact, there are very few photos of me in my archives,  as I'm normally behind the camera. Except when Grant and I are about to get onto our motorcycle and leave on a tour. I set my small Sony point-and-shoot up on the garden table, activate the self-timer and sprint to where he is already posing casually in front of our bike (looking like James Dean, our sister-in-law once commented, although I don't think James Dean ever rode a motorcycle! You may challenge me on this, for those of us who know who James Dean is, LOL!).   I just manage to grab his left arm, drag it over my shoulder and paste a smile on my face as the shutter goes off. Then telling him to hold that pose, I dash back to the table, I put my steel rimmed readers -which have become red-hot lying in the sun -on my nose, and peer at the LCD screen. This is not visible in bright sunlight so I  dash indoors and check the photo. If I'm not happy - which I never am - (lol) we go through the whole process again until I am. (only another two photos)  Needless to say, when I eventually download the photos, I'm squinting at the camera or into the distance, a pained expression on my face with my chin tilted unnaturally in an effort to hide its twin. In fact, I think I should get these photos out of the archives. I'd probably be able to post them as "My silly photos" as well!

Back to today's silly photos. When I mounted the camel for my ride in the desert, (please read previous two posts if you'd like to see why I was in the desert, riding a camel!) I realised that wearing a skirt was not a good idea. I said as much to my camel driver who laughed and said al-ʻRbyh al-Khāş (Arabee coiss - meaning "your Arabic is good/OK". I was thrilled!)

He also said that I should hold on tightly to the pummel behind me and the one between my knees. Holding my camera in my right hand, I could only hold behind me, so I prayed that my morning exercises on the roof would stand in good stead; that my legs would "hold on" !  Grant, whose camel was standing quietly with him in the saddle, called across the sand that I should "hold on".

I was just wondering why everyone was telling me to hold on, when the driver clicked his tongue. This was obviously the sign for the camel to get up. Now: when a camel rises, it does so two parts. First it lifts its rear end and you, on its back, lurch forward. Then before your heart can stop banging around in your chest, the camel straightens its front legs. You fly backwards and as it settles on all four legs, there is a distinct feeling that you could topple off the side onto the sand miles below.

Once we got going, I loved every minute of the ride.

When I downloaded these photos (credits: the third Sudanese camel rider) and saw the expressions on the camels' faces, I could just imagine the following conversation:

Cameela (with fashionable red muzzle) : Uh-oh; another tourist who cannot leave her camera behind. Fiddling with it instead of concentrating on holding on. Wait till I get up, she'll know all about it !

Camryn (pronounced Camreen, please doll)  resting on the sand: Well, Cameela, she didn't fall, but that's only because Mohamed AND Mustapha held her! Oh no, (splutter!) did you ever? Can you believe she's wearing a skirt? I mean, where does she COME from.

Cameela: You cant' miss that accent: they're South Africans. If I was her, I'd have worn an abaya to cover those thighs and knobbly knees. (snort !)   

Note: an abaya is a floor length, longsleeved robe which  conceals everything from the neck to your feet. It is traditional Sudanese women's wear.

The Arabic word for camera is Kāmyrā (pronounced kameera)
The Arabic word for my skirt is Skrtyh (pronounced skirtee)

Thanks to all who commented on the two previous posts of our trip into the desert. I appreciate your visits. Bless you all.


  1. LOL! You look so cute on that camel! If the abaya is very full I could see how this would be easier. Of course that would depend on what was worn under the abaya. Is it common for women to ride the camels?

  2. Thanks Gaelyn! An abaya is full but would be very hot for me in the desert. I wear one when roaming the streets on my own (without Grant). It goes over your "house clothes" No, I have never seen a women riding a camel here in the Sudan. They drive cars, though! Have a wonderful day. (((Hugs))) Jo

  3. LOL!! No Jo!! I am sure they were wondering who that wonderful lady was taking a ride with the beautiful accent. :)

    I had to smile at the bit on how you get pictures taken. :)

  4. LOL, re accent, Joan;) Yes, the Sudanese gentleman very confident with my Sony camera and took photos of Grant without him even asking. Then he took THREE of me! After the ride, I gave him my Canon and he took a group photo of Grant and me with our camel riders. Thanks for your visit. Jo

  5. When you sit on a camel you should wear trousers, lol ! Fortunately I always wear them, because the Egyptian camel owners always try to touch a little of the naked chair you show, even when you are not of the first youth anymore ! as their women are all wrapped up for them it's interesting to see some white chair. I think you look very nice on a camel !

  6. LOL Gattina at the white chair. Yes my limbs do look rather white! I was fortunate that these Sudanese gentlemen didn't feel about, just hung onto me as the camel rose to its feet. Thanks for your lovely comment! (((Hugs))) Jo

  7. Hi Jo!
    No wonder you and Gaelyn get along so well. Both of you drive with a camera in hand!
    I did notice that you didn't have any hands on the wheel... LOL! :)

  8. Absolutely Mike;) All hands were needed for the photos! Thanks for popping in. Blessings Jo

  9. Oh my goodness Jo! What an exciting life you lead. I'm home dusting and you're out in the desert riding a camel! LOL

    When I was a little girl, I rode a camel at a zoo, and I remember the camel was not very friendly!

    I have really enjoyed getting caught up on your adventures.
    ☼ Sunny
    P.S. Thank you so much for your kind words...I send you a big hug :)

  10. Hi Sunny;) this was the first time I've been out of Khartoum since arriving here a year ago! (Apart from flying home to SA every three months.) I see my husband had the GPS out again tonight so I suspect we're off to see some other exciting part of the desert this weekend. Have a wonderful day. (((Hugs))) Jo

  11. I love the conversation between Cameela nd Camryn...hahaha! Saw your pictures on your trip Jo and I could say you had a great time especially seeing those gigantic pyramids....

  12. Hi Jo, fantastic posts! I had popped in to read them but did'nt have time to leave comments!I think the desert and seeing real pyramids has a sense of timelessness about it, I thought they were only in Egypt as these are the ones we hear about (until you enlightened us)!Good for you taking that camel ride and posting the pics, they look very haughty and aristocratic creatures and if they were having a conversation then you captured it perfectly!The road trains look scary on that narrow strip of road but I find it heartwarming that the donkey still has right of way even in this day and age.

  13. I ended my day with a big smile, my friend :-))

    10 out of 10 for staying on top!

    Ja-a-a... wat ons nie alles sal doen vir 'n goeie foto nie!

  14. Sister Jo, that must be fun to ride on camels. But remembering how they spit makes me think otherwise. :)

    Just want to thank you for your prayers that I so need. But feeling better here on my shoulder. My doc couldn't find anything [PTL!] so more likely, I must have strained a muscle which I didn't know I had on my upper back! :)

    God bless you and protect you always.

  15. Those are beautiful pictures! It's NOT easy mounting a camel. How far did you ride?

  16. They are beautiful photos, Jo ... sowar jameela :)

  17. Jo, yes, I can't imagine riding a camel in a skirt, but aren't they wonderful animals. I love them. I used to want to decorate a room with camels. I'm over that now, but I still like them. ;o)

  18. Cute story....Love seeing that lady on that camel... That is SPECIAL.... WOW--thanks for sharing.

  19. Great post and pictures. What great adventure! Love to try riding a camel someday.

  20. Oh, these are great photos. I love the expression on your camel's face. Riding the camel as it gets up sounds a bit like riding a bucking horse!

  21. Looks like a wild ride no matter what you wear!

  22. Great shots of you on the camel, Jo. I loved the imaginary conversation between the camels. It sounds like a scary experience as the camel stands up!

  23. What a great post, Jo! I got a kick out of the camel conversation. I often wonder what animals think of the weird antics humans get up to..and I love how you kept your camera at the ready the whole time...:)


  24. Another post that sneaked past me. You wore a skirt!!! Still looks like you had loads of fun.


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo