Very, Very Short Camel Ride

It can be quite cold in Egypt in January, especially in the early morning before the sun has warmed the desert.camel_ride_030514

Our cruise ship, one that the British company, Swan Hellenic leased from an Egyptian company, was more than adequate and the guides they provided were excellent.

So I decided to take advantage of one port of call where passengers had a chance to ride camels. Wow! Dreams do come true. But because our rides were scheduled for quite early in the morning, and because it was cold that particular morning, I wore my violet-coloured Italian designer coat. It was the only warm thing I had packed.

When we were introduced to our camel drivers, I took it for granted that the one I had been assigned to could understand English. Not so!

I am adventurous, but not with so-called physical risk-taking. No sky diving for me, and definitely no bungee jumping.

So I asked the camel driver to just let me sit in the impressive saddle on the camel so I could have my photo taken. “Yes, madam”, was what he said. I was not afraid at this point. But I did not realize that he had not understood a single word that I had said.

Still blissfully ignorant of the absolute non-comprehension of English on the part of the Egyptian camel driver, I sat there waiting for a photographer to take a photo of me on a camel in my violet-coloured designer coat.

The next thing that happened? The camel stood up … with me still in the saddle. Now, when I am frightened, I can’t help swearing. And out came some super words I picked up at boarding school from a friend who hailed from Bermuda and who is now a countess.

I will not repeat what I said but I pleaded with the driver to keep the camel standing still. I was afraid that he would let the beast start walking or galloping across the desert.

And that is exactly what the camel did. I, of course, was absolutely terrified and I just hope no one heard the words that came out of my mouth.

The ride was cut rather short because one of the ship’s guides rescued me, thank goodness.

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