Sunday, 22 April 2012

The Ships of the Desert.

Did you know that the name camel comes from the Arabic word for 'beauty'?
Apart from some very long eyelashes my camel didn't seem particularly beautiful.She was smelly and covered in flies!

I also found out that one of the reasons camels can go long periods without water is due to the oval shape of their blood cells. These can flow when dehydrated unlike our round ones that clump together.

We rode on camels across a varied landscape. We started in a palmerie shaded from the sun then passed through an area of sand dunes before heading along a river bank back to our camp. The children loved the sand dunes. They dug holes, rolled and generally threw a lot of sand about. I seem to have brought half the desert home in my suitcase.

Mid roll!

We spent two nights camping in Bedouin style tents. These are long, low, thick brown tents made from goat and camel hair. They are supported by tall central poles and then have lower poles around the sides. Traditionally more poles represent greater wealth of the owner. The tents are designed to cope with desert life. I can't speak about the cooling properties but in the freezing night temperatures the tent kept me warm. During rare desert rain showers the tent is supposed to be waterproof as the wool and hair expand when wet filling the gaps. During the freak torrential rainstorms and flash floods that we encountered we took the added precaution of tarpaulins over the tents. Not very authentic perhaps but we kept fairly dry. It was a bit noisy though. Add to that the call to prayer, motorbikes, drumming and dogs let's say I didn't get my full 8 hours!


  1. it all looks so wonderful! there is something quite comical about a camels face :)