Thanks to some very adventurous friends I had the opportunity to get up close and personal with a few of the furry fellows. One Saturday we piled into an SUV and headed out across the desert. Once we got out of the city we travelled a two-lane blacktop across the slightly hilly terrain. It didn’t look anything like the majestic sand dunes we see in the movies. The sand here was much more coarse and gritty, and there were piles of litter along the road. I learned that a cleaning crew irregularly travels the roads to clean up litter, so people tend to leave their stuff in piles where it can be found. Sadly, there were also a few dead camels. It seems a no brainer to expect camel crossings, but I guess some people are in a hurry. I just can’t believe the cars come out of the incident much better off than the camels.
Once we spotted a few tall bumps along the horizon we left the road. Our driver took us quite close to a small group of white camels. It was a small heard with a few young camels as well as full grown camels, a few of which had been hobbled. I guess we got lucky because these camels were curious and friendly. At first we thought their leaning into us and wrapping their necks around us was about being friendly. After a while we realized that we were being slowly pushed further away from the juveniles. They never did bite or spit and we enjoyed our time among the icons of the desert.
On our way back to the road we ran across a shepherd watching his heard of goats and sheep. Our driver did the modern cowboy thing and drove in circles while we took photographs of the hairy beasts. Life goes on all over the planet. Taking time to appreciate it is our challenge.