Tuesday, 25 July 2017

My girl, Tess


The camel man was a dread locked, barefooted, open faced kind of bloke, handing out helmets and moving calmly around the animals. He introduced my girl as Tess and another as Diane. The brindle staffy chained to the trailer obviously adored him as she ran toward him tail wagging every time he wandered nearby. The reddish pitbull laid in the sand and flicked her ears, not bothering to look up. A young camel tied to the truck was bellowing in a way that seemed agitated, the wind whipped across our faces and on the almost deserted beach there was a man with a kite. I'm not sure if he was flying the kite or attempting flight himself.
The camel man led the front camel into the dunes and across the beach with the rest following behind. The camel behind me took every opportunity to make a grab for some beach grass and would raise her head for a lazy chew right alongside me, expertly dodging my hand every time I reached to feel her springy coat.
It was a longer and calmer ride than my last one , nearly ten years ago.



27 comments:

  1. Did you know that the camels of Australia were originally imported from British India along with some cameleers?

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    1. If I did know, I had forgotten. I did know that some cameleers came from Afghanistan and were some of the first muslims in Australia (contrary to the idea that Islam is new here)

      I suppose the colonies probably influenced each other more than we think. Bathurst, NSW has a courthouse that was designed for an Indian location and some Indian building was designed for Australia: the plans were accidentally swapped and went to the wrong places :)

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    2. Ramana, camels are a huge problem in parts of Australia. Many are totally feral, and at one time there were over one million of them, causing serious environment damage. After a huge culling project, there are now about 300,000.

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    3. Yes, I have been reading about it. In India the problem is a declining population of both camels and cameleers. Efforts are being made to revive both with camel milk dairying promotion. Let us see how things pan out.

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  2. Reminds me of donkey rides across Skegness beach.

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    1. I think donkeys are cuter than camels! I have never had a chance to ride one, they must be similar to a horse

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  3. Himself went on an eight day camel safari in Morocco. I do like camel's elegant (albeit snooty) faces - and love the smile on yours.

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    1. Did eight days on a camel leave himself sore? Morocco would probably make up for any tiredness anyway, it seems so exotic!



































































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    2. He did get stiff and sore, but loved his camel safari. Learning that the meat for the week was carried in one of the camel's saddle bags still makes my tummy churn though. It might have been cold at night, but it was hot each day.

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    3. I am far from obsessive about food safety but thats too much even for me!

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  4. All power to you, brave warrior queen! I don't trust any transport with its own brain and no brakes.

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    1. lol! you are probably much smarter than me, then!
      but truly, there's nothing like the high you get when you ride a racing camel, stare death in the face and survive!

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  5. That's a lovely picture of you sitting up on Tess like Queen Victoria. You should consider getting it professionally printed and then framed.

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    1. yea, thats what everyone says :)

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  6. I've only ever been on camel once and fairly briefly and that was in Western Australia. Like Dave I prefer my transport not to have a brain of its own.

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    1. It wasn't in Broome, was it? I would like to see Broome

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  7. Great photos, you look like you are having loads of fun. I have never had a camel ride, and I'm not sure I ever want one, but seeing the joy on your face makes me feel I'm missing out!

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    1. It probably wasn't the camel ride per se, so much as just being out doing something different on a nice day. The beach was glorious.

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    1. Thank you, Regine! and welcome!

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    1. It was sunny enough to give me a little sunburn but the cold wind stopped it from feeling hot.

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  10. I've only ridden a camel once, when I was a kid, and I can't remember anything about it. Are they quite tame, or might they take a dislike to you and try to throw you off? And which beach is that? It looks a bit like Curl Curl.

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    1. These camels seemed quite tame and they would need to be or the guy who owned them would never get insurance! My understanding of camels is that a male in rut is a deadly force and the rest are pretty safe.
      The beach is Birubi, it's up the coast a bit in the Port Stephens area

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  11. I thought for a moment that you had left the continent. I don't remember camels being in AU. I know at one time they were used in the US. That looks exotic enough for me. I think I might like a camel ride, but it has been over 50 years since I was on a horse. I would have to take my own canned meat if the meat was carried all week in a saddle bag.

    My friend had her own camel furniture when she stored it in my house. She had lived in the Middle East a few times.

    Thanks for the a2milk info. Are you going to blog about that little adventure?

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    1. Hi Linda,
      Australia has a large number of wild (feral) camels. As other transport methods became more popular the camel trains were released to the desert to fend for themselves and they did very well, there was a time when Australian camels were exported to the middle east for racing but I'm not sure if that is still the case.
      A short camel ride is quite pleasant and easier to get on than a horse because the camels lie down.
      I have been thinking I might blog about dumpster food again so the milk may get a mention :)

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