Friday, May 22, 2009

Camel Riding in the Desert

Ok, it was not planned.  My friend Craig (from Aberdeen) and I were invited to the Chouhan’s “farm”.  At least that’s what they called it.  It’s a 8 acre package of land 20 kilometres outside Barmer towards Pakistan.  It’s 8 acres of desert. But it has a large stone crushing plant on it and what looks like a nice octagonal house, which is a party house, and has a water processing plant in the basement.  They package small plastic bags of water which are sold for 1 rupee a piece.  You rip a corner of the bag with your teeth, drink and then throw the bag away. That’s India.

They also had two camels.  Craig seemed reluctant to get on, but was pressured to by Joghinda, the eldest son of Mr. Chouhan.  So he gets on and the camel abruptly gets up.  Craig is barely hanging on, jerking back and forth. My camel is now in the full lotus position on the ground waiting for me to get on board.  I climb onto a very uncomfortable cloth with no place to hold onto anything.  The camel abruptly gets up and I too struggle to hold on.

Then we walk.  Yes we are being lead by men on the ground, but still it’s a bumpy ride and I realize, if the seats on my intended 3 day trek into the desert with some of my cohorts are not first class with extra foam, we’re going to get some real bad saddle sore.

Otherwise the walking was fine. 

It was the getting off that didn’t happen according to plan.  Craig got off ok, but my camel, now called “Mark” decided it was not going to lower itself down to let me off.  It fought off the handler holding the rope/reigns, grunting and swearing, spitting and bouncing around.  And yes, I am still on it’s back.  Who knows, maybe it liked me there.  I was feeling kinda helpless up there so  I started to camel-whisper in it’s ear and it slowly calmed down and let me off.  Really, you think I’m making up this stuff.  Ask “Mark”.

PS. Craig’s camel is called “Craig”.


1 comment:

  1. I wonder if camels respond to dulcimer playing. In any case, forget the Valiant and Saint of Barmer. You will henceforth be known as the Camel Whisperer of Barmer.