I was on the saddle on Ahs-gwal's back - and may I just say that you are up HIGH when you're on a camel. And it's not a saddle like on a horse. And it's not a smooth ride, like on a horse. And there are no stirrups . . . I was thanking my trainer over and over in my mind for all the inner thigh and core work we did in the months leading up to this trip. Without it, I surely would have fallen off. I'm not kidding.
Anyway, I wanted to tell you that camels have beautiful feet. While I was squinting my eyes, keeping my mouth shut, breathing through my nose and holding on for dear life (I have no idea how I was able to take the few photos I did while riding), I spent a lot of time looking at the feet of the camels in front of me and occasionally alongside of me.
I know you're all familiar with the nasty term "camel toe" (no, I'm not linking that, thank you very much), well, that is where the term came from, but it's not nasty when you are looking at the foot of an actual camel. The bottom of their feet are not hooves - they are these beautiful, flexible pads, and they shift and move with each step in the sand. Camels are amazingly graceful looking, particularly considering the rough gait they possess.
Anyway, who knew camels would hold such fascination? (or that some of them LIE DOWN to sleep! - although not Ahs-gwal - that's him, falling asleep :-) ) That's also a pretty good look at the saddles. These are Dromedaries, not Bactrian camels (only one hump). Ahs-gwal did not spit and he was quite nice, although I was a little nervous around him at first. He was the lead camel in our line of five.
Yes I had asthma issues from the sand storm,. but I wouldn't have traded that ride for anything and I had an upper respiratory antibiotic with me, just in case. Really glad I had it . . . I'm still coughing glop up out of my lungs!
We came back early the next morning, got cleaned up and headed for the palm groves of Tinehir and the Todras Gorge.
And on a completely different topic - I saw this on Michelle's blog, and of course had to try it! Check me out! :-D