Riding a Camel with a Purpose and with a thong

11 Aug

Quick post.

I’m in Petra, Jordan.  Just arrived a few minutes ago.  The hotel computer not only works, but has FAST Internet.  Brilliant as the Brits say…

Thought I would never be writing this one — It is rough riding a camel in thong underwear.  Who knew  this was even an option or, let alone, even possible?  It is possible.   Camel riding is some pretty intense stuff, especially when it is over 110-degrees and you have a permanent – I mean PERMANENT – wedgie.

I met up with a tour group in Amman and part of the trip was trekking Wadi Rum (think Lawrence of Arabia) and bond with the Bedouins for a night.  I was not sure what that meant, for fine print or directions never interest me.  I like “living on the edge.”  The guide told us to bring some toothpaste and a few essentials.  Our bags disappeared in the back of a 1978 Toyota pick-up truck driven by a 11 year old sportin’ a turban.    For reasons that I don’t recall, our group opted for the camel ride.   I thought — “cool, a camel ride!”  That was not just a ride around a culd-a-sac, it was a trek.

The Wadi Rum dessert bleeds in cooper.   You have your occasional gray/green shrub and amazing mountains, but that is it.  Camp was a cool 11 km, which took us over 2.5 hours on camel.  An 8 year old boy and his father walked along side of us in flip flops.  Talk about humbling.  FYI:  There are no fat Bedouins.

We were greeted at the camp by more Bedouins and more tea.  I wished I liked tea — I was just jonesing for a diet coke and some ice.  Not even possible.

We watched the sun set over the dessert and it was truly mystical.  I felt so insignificant.  Like an ant.  Or, just a spec of dust.  “Dust in the wind comes to mind…”  I imagined all the thousands if not millions who flip-flopped through the dessert before me.  Humbling.  Oh, the Saudi border was 2 or 3 km away, yet everything seemed so peaceful.  It should b/c there is NOTHING out there.

The silence is what frightened me.  The only thing you heard was wind.  That’s it.  NO INSECTS.  No, voices.  No, cell phones.  Not even camel popping.  Nothing.  You are in nothing-ness.  I wish I could write something profound.  Mystical comes to mind.   Spiritually.  Godly. Just insert anything with a superaltive.

That night, we ate random meat – possibly camel – cooked underground and rice.  This is my type of eating.  I had three servings, amazing our guests by the amount of food I can put away.  Gee..camel riding makes you hungry.  I drank vats of water but was fearful to use the “built-in” sandstone toilets.  I believe blogging about bathroom issues is set for another time.  I don’t think I’ve gone in four days now.  It is distressing me.  That being said, a Bedouin camp is not the best place to let loose either…

Focus.  We had very nice tents.  But, I decided to reject the tent and sleep under the stars.  This is the first for me to willingly sleep outside for the entire night.  It has happened before….I believe it is called “passed out” under the stars. My mattress was about 4 feet long and a comfy, soft blanket covered my chin.  It was hard to close my eyes.  Sound was deafening.  Stars brilliant.  Thoughts flowing.  I laid awake thanking God and counting the falling stars.  One after the other they fell —  I don’t think there are many  places left where you can see the stars without ANY light.  The ironic thing is I slept better outside in the dessert than at my Amman Days Inn. Maybe I was a Bedouin in another life.  I sure as hell was not a Viking.

I woke to a brilliant sun rise,  brilliant muscle spasms and more tea.  Inside, I was glad it was not coffee for my stomach would have imploded at this point.

Right now, I’m waiting for a Turkish bath in Petra.  I heard that you can wear your swim suits.  Novel concept.  When I was in Turkey in college — Katie Lou, Allison, I found ourselves in a Turkish bath naked with random Canadian boys we met only hours before on the boat ride over from Greece.   Usually, you get naked AFTER you get their name, not before…HA!  Another story.  The Petra Turkish bath should be much tamer.  It is Ramadan for pete sakes…. A good disinfecting and exfoliating sounds rockin’ right about now.


5 Responses to “Riding a Camel with a Purpose and with a thong”

  1. Brian Morgan 14/12/2010 at 12:16 pm #

    Love the pose and look the guy by the food table is giving you – a Jordanian Zoolander in training…

  2. MaryStuart Day 21/08/2010 at 12:35 pm #

    Panda, I can’t believe you slept outside. WOW! I don’t know if I could have done that, much less on a shorter mattress. How cool to see the falling stars. God was surrounding you. I saw Eat Love Pray. I miss Italy, but do not care to go to India. That movie reminded me of you and how much I miss you! I pray daily for your safe travels! Love you Sis!

  3. Daphne Cukier 13/08/2010 at 5:10 pm #

    Aday! You are awesome! I am so envious I can’t stand it!!! Keep up the bowel movement talk – we have to get a reaction from katie! Thanks for entertaining me! Love and miss you!

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