That One Chick #9
Ever wonder what the world looks like from the back of a camel? Well my friends–mystery solved…and now you know. This is the view from the top of a real live Egyptian camel. Now this particular dromedary has most likely gone the way of the dinosaur by now–since this picture is about 30 years old…the average life span of your typical camel–but the smelly memories live on…and on.
We paid exactly $2.50 for a camel ride to the base of the pyramids back in 1980–quite a bargain. But the tour guides warned us that the little herders who led the camels up the trail would ask us for more money–and be sure not to give it to them. Not sure what that was about, but I’m an obedient soul. So sure enough, when the little man said, “I need more money for camel food,” I said, “We aren’t allowed to give you more.” Sadly, this was no ordinary Egyptian camel man. Oh no. This clever fellow just smiled a funny toothy smile and said, “OK.”
Then, without a warning, he slapped the camel…
Of course the previously slow, calm creature now discovered his new purpose in life and torn up the hill like there was a bazooka at his back. In case you think that riding a camel should be about like riding a horse–let me clue you. Whoever put the running mechanism of the camel together didn’t actually think this through. At first step they pitch forward nearly sending the rider into orbit, but then when the back legs engage, that motion gives you a mighty yank backwards. So instead of a pleasant jaunt up the hill, it turns out to be a strange exercise in 12 forms of whiplash. But I haven’t actually gotten to the good part.
Once I got the hang of holding on I thought, “Well, at least I’ll be first up the hill. So that’s not so bad. I’ll just be up here all cool and act like, ‘what took you guys so long?'”
Yeah, that’s what I thought. But these smelly, nasty things are creatures of habit, no matter what speed they are traveling. So, the minute we got to the base of the pyramids–this sucker skidded to a stop and dropped to his knees–sending the cockly little rider flying clear over his head.
When the rest of the happy caravan showed up, they found the frugal American, laying in a sad, crumpled heap, spitting wads of sand off her tongue.
Of course the pyramids were incredible…beautiful…breathtaking…spectacular.
But if you’d like a tip–from the seasoned adventurer…
Give the herder guy the extra 20 bucks.
It’s much cheaper than spending two weeks scrubbing half the Sahara desert out of your ears.
Not a big fan of camels.