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Friday, 14 October 2016

Day 14 - The Camels Rule

Our morning started with the complimentary and very grand breakfast buffet.  Any thing you can imagine was on offer, including camel milk. We dined on an outdoor deck and the temperature was still cool enough to enjoy.

After breakfast we headed to the pool. Our oasis was surrounded by sand dunes. We had comfortable lounge chairs and excellent service. The pool was pleasant and we had frequent dips for exercise and to cool off. A lunch of salads and indulgent calamari kept us going.

Late afternoon we left the pool and donned our jeans. We then headed out on another dune trip. This time we were deposited alongside a caravan of camels. These were lovely and peaceful creatures, each equipped with a saddle over its hump. Hand knitted snout "warmers" colourfully adorned each Camel (and kept them from biting). You will see in the pictures that one Camel's snout warmer had Jamaican colours.

After very brief instructions - which basically told us to "hold on for dear life - and lean back" - we each mounted our selected steed. David of course was in front, followed by his dad, then Monica and coming up the middle was Anuzya. The rest of the guests were also in the procession. At the leaders command the Camels stood. Everyone enjoyed the brief moment of terror and instability, but we all remained safe in our saddles.

The caravan ride lasted just under an hour. The whole time no matter what direction we looked - all we saw were sand dunes. The Camels moved at a slow steady pace. When they went up or downhill I understood our instruction to "hold on for dear life". During the ride Monica's Camel occasionally nuzzled me and I reciprocated with a pat on his snout or head. Every once in awhile I  looked back to see Monica and Anuzya, but that felt very unsteady.

When we came to our destination the procession came to a halt. One by one each Camel knelt down so its rider could dismount. David, Monica and Anuzya were very graceful. Joe grunted and was a little loud as he landed. If you are reading this on a computer you can see a video of Monica and Anuzya's dismount.

After the dismount we were greeted by some more friendly staff and offered tea, turkish coffee and dates. We spent half an hour with many people playing in the sand - actually climbing up a dune.

When the rest period was over we were informed that we now had to walk or roll down a "very" steep dune. If you lean back int your heels it is surprisingly easy - although at first quite scary. We all made it. Later we found at least 2 litres of sand in each shoe! We were then driven back to the hotel for showers before dinner.

Dinner was a out on a terrace. As usual it was difficult to find a decent wine at an affordable price, but we managed. Most of us had fish and one had lamb. The setting was romantic and the company divine.

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