Can You Ride That Camel?

India is a very hard place to travel for many reasons, and I will only name a few. First, communication errors: things always turn out to be much different than what we think they are going to be. Second, indians will say anything to make you happy. We got real angry because of this one. And third, the roads: getting a driver to drive you around is easier than most things, but the roads are horrible, so you’re very likely to get sick. All three of these things mix into the beginning of this post. After a short but bumpy ride to our ‘camel safari,’ we all felt pretty sick and tired, so when we saw what the ‘camel safari’ really was, we were extremely disappointed. We were expecting a 2-day camel trek, but it turned out that it was just a huge camp, with like 100 huge tents. So we asked the manager what the ‘camel safari’ was, and he told us that the 2 night stay includes a 1 hour camel ride only for the first day, and nothing for the second day. We had already payed for it, so we couldn’t leave. We just stayed in the car and after about 1 hour of dad talking to the hotel workers and the travel agent on the phone, we established a deal: free breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and three 2 hour camel rides (not including stopping at the sand dunes).

The whole crew on a pack of camels

Mac on BabalouDax on his Camel

We had about an hour to get ready and relax before the first camel ride. When the camels arrived, we all got to pick which one we would ride. Dax and I got to ride our own camels, while Kieran rode with Mom and Asher rode with Dad. I chose a camel named Babalu. I rode him each time we went because I liked him so much. It was really fun getting up and down, like an amusement park ride. Unfortunately, we only got to ride, not steer. Instead, a man was carrying a rope so he could steer us to the right place. We rode for about 30 minutes to the dunes where we stopped for two hours to play and watch the sunset. We all stopped at the biggest dune we could find, so we could roll, jump, sumersault, and run down. It was really fun. Dax and I had long jumping competitions, while Kieran and Asher would jump and roll. Mom even tried rolling in her churidar. It was pretty funny. Every once in a while you would roll over these huge dung beetles. Kieran and Asher dug holes for them and started treating them like pets. I also liked to dig really big tunnels in the sand, then walk on them and have one of my legs go two feet under the sand. I even got stuck once.

When the sun was about one hour from going down, Dad had this idea of spinning me and Dax around in circles and then throwing us down the sand dune. It sounded like fun so I tried it. PLOP, big mistake. I landed flat on my back and totally got the wind knocked out of me. So I just laid there, gasping for air. I could hardly breathe for a while, so my dad bought me a 20 rupee 200 mil. bottle of Sprite, from a man walking the dunes selling soda. It felt like I tweaked my back, because every time I took a step it hurt. So I had to take a few steps, lay down, take a few steps, and lay down to get back to Babalu and the rest of the camels from where we would watch the sunset. It was amazing. The sun went down so fast. You saw it one second, it was gone the next. After the sunset, we all got back on our camels and headed back before it got too dark to see. When we got back, we went to the place where we would eat dinner. It was an open roofed, concrete walled room, with a empty space in the middle where singers and dancers were performing. It was lined with like 100 chairs, even though there were only 12 people staying there. The food was so so as well as the performance. After dinner we went to the tents and talked with our travel companion, Heather. Dax and I also had a rock throwing competition and then went to sleep.

Mckane flyingIMG_1735.JPGDax flying on the sand

I woke up the next morning feeling a lot better, but not ready for yet another breakfast of eggs, bread, butter, and jam. I was so sick of this breakfast, because every hotel in India serves it and only it. After we our usual bland meal, we went on our second camel ride. Everybody had the same camels they had had the day before except mom and dad, who switched with each other so Asher could be with mom, and Kieran could be with dad. But this time we went to a town that was 45 minutes away. We thought that it was going to be a very cultural town but it turned out to be a tourist adapted town. All the children would come up to you saying “100, 100, please, 100”, so probably one tourist actually gave one 100 rupees, which made them think that all tourists would. So we decided to leave the town ASAP, and go back to a place where we could have fun, the sand dunes! We had less time to play this time though, because we didn’t want to get stuck in the hot part of the day. Dax, Kieran, Asher, and I all did some more jumping and rolling and had a sand fight. I got demolished by Dax, because he had Kieran and I was alone. Soon enough dad called us back to the camels so we could go back to the camp and have lunch. Lunch was the same thing as dinner the day before, so once again it was so so.

I wanted to finish as fast as I could because Kieran, Dad and I were going on a rock hunt. We only had to go 50 meters away from camp to find rocks, but we found nothing. We tried another site, and found loads of fossils. We only got to keep one big rock, so we chose one that was packed with fossils. We came back in time for the next camel ride, but mom was feeling sick and we were all tired, so only Heather went. She liked it a lot because they let her gallop and steer. Those of us who stayed home just laid back until dinner. Mom slept, Dax read, Dad worked on the computer, I wrote my tiger post, and Kieran and Asher played with ants. Dinner was ready, and can you guess what is was? Correct! The same thing we had for lunch and dinner the day before! Luckily, we skipped the dancing by staying in, because they dance before dinner and during dinner. But at parts the dancing was ok because they made all the tourists dance with them. Other than that it was pretty lame. The next day we had the same breakfast and set off to travel around some more of India.

McKane and His camel friend, Babalu, are finished with you! This post is done son!

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3 thoughts on “Can You Ride That Camel?

  1. Tom…looks like those negotiating skills paid off. Maybe you can talk to Comcast when you get back.

  2. Pingback: Maybe all the camels are wrong « Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week

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