The Camel Experience

Trip Start Jun 08, 2003
Trip End Jan 10, 2004

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Flag of Morocco  ,
Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Hahaha... everyone laughed at Veeral. Poor guy was thrown off his camel. The camel slipped in the soft sand and tipped to one side... forcing him to jump off. I didnt see it happen. I was totally last in the 'camel train' - thats why i named my camel Coventry. The camel is an amazing animal. Specialised in every way to cope with the harshness of the desert environment. The ride however is a little rough.

Once the commotion was over, we recommenced our journey through the Sahara Desert towards our campsite. It was 6pm, the sun had set - no lights, no stars - and a blustery sand storm. According to the guides we were travelling in a direction to minimise sand blowing into our faces. Already though, I could feel the gritty sand in my hair, ears and on my neck.
I was loving the experience... it was like a scene from star wars on a foreign planet!

After about 45 minutes we still had 1km to reach our destination. Looking around I couldnt see too much... just a large ridge of sand to the left of me and flat sand to my right. As I looked up, I noticed Coventry moving his head amongst the rope connecting him to Robbie's camel in front. Suddenly he staggered... his head was stuck in an wierd sideways position; he had tangled himself in the rope! Almost simultaneously I yelled to Robbie that my camel was going to fall and I dived off as it began to topple to the left. I rolled down the sand dune wearing my backpack and my camera bag. The only thought running through my head was "I hope there isn't a 500kg camel rolling down behind me!"

Somehow the main camel train had broken free from Robbie's camel. When I finally finished rolling 20m down the sand dune I looked up to see Coventry lying sideways in the sand at the top. He was still connected to Robbie's camel who was trying to move forward. Coventry was in pain and was being choked by the rope.

I ran to the top of the ridge as fast as I could... the guide requested that I run after the other camels (and guide) to get a knife to cut the rope. By this time they were out of sight - there was no way I was going to venture into the dark and blustery desert... I declined and stayed with the camels. The guide ran into the darkness and returned after a few minutes, which seemed like an eternity. He cut the rope and thankfully Coventry survived - albeit with a split lip and loose teeth.

We decided to walk the remaining distance to the camp site, where upon our arrival we were greeted with cheers of releif from our fellow journeyers!

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